The relationships between the sand grain roughness height (ks) in use with Nikuradse or Colebrook correlations for the roughness function (RF) and the internal pipe wall roughness element described by the root-mean-square (RMS) of the roughness profile (Rq) for turbulent flow in pipes are experimentally examined. Flow tests were conducted on a total of 13 commercial steel pipes of two sizes: 168.3 mm and 114.3 mm outer diameter (OD). The aim was to provide further insight into relationship between ks and Rq, for use with either RF correlations. The tests were conducted on high-pressure pipeline quality natural gas in the range of Reynolds number (based on pipe internal diameter) of 9 × 106–16 × 106. For commercial carbon steel pipes, the relationship between ks and Rq was found in the form ks=1.306Rq+0.078Rq2 and ks=2.294Rq (both ks and Rq in μm), for use with Colebrook and Nikuradse RF correlations, respectively. These correlations cover a wide range of Rq from 2.7 μm to 12.5 μm which is typically found in commercial carbon steel pipes. For stainless steel (SS) pipes, preliminary results indicate that other surface roughness profile parameters need to be employed to better define the values of ks for these types of commercial steel pipes.

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