A new theory for the compressible flow through an orifice is presented which provides a significant advance over the approach currently employed. As the flow approaches the critical regime (local sonic condition), measurements diverge from the theoretical result due to the non-one-dimensionality of the flow. Nevertheless, a straightforward correlation is available, and the measurements for different pipe/orifice geometries all appear to lie in the vicinity of a single, universal curve. As the flow approaches the incompressible condition the correlation factor (the discharge coefficient) becomes unity.

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