In this paper, we examine losses associated with compressible and constant-density fluids flowing across abrupt area changes in flow passages. The bases of the conventional constant-density loss coefficients for abrupt enlargements and contractions are first reviewed. A loss parameter based directly on the drop in total pressure is next introduced. Various compressible-flow solutions are then considered. Results are given of new experiments run with air and water flowing across abrupt area changes. The total-pressure-loss parameter is shown to have greater utility and validity than the usual loss coefficient for both compressible and constant-density flows.

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