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Hydraulic diameter

The hydraulic diameter, Dh, is a commonly used term when handling flow in noncircular tubes and channels. Using this term one can calculate many things in the same way as for a round tube.

Additional recommended knowledge


D_h = \frac {4A}{U}

where A is the cross sectional area and U is the wetted perimeter of the cross-section.

For a round tube, this checks as:

D_h = \frac{4 \frac {\pi D^2}{4}}{\pi D} = D

The Manning formula contains a quantity called the hydraulic radius. Despite what the name may suggest, the hydraulic diameter is not twice the hydraulic radius.

For an annulus the hydraulic diameter is

D_h = \frac{4 \cdot 0.25 \pi (D_o^2 - D_i^2)} {\pi (D_o + D_i)} = D_o - D_i

and for a rectangular duct

D_h = \frac {4 L W} {2 (L + W)} = \frac{2LW}{L+W}

For the special case of a square duct, where L = W, then Dh = L . For the other limiting case of a very wide duct, i.e. a slot of width W where L \gg W, then Dh = 2W.

This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Hydraulic_diameter". A list of authors is available in Wikipedia.
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