An experimental investigation has been made of the effect of an axial magnetic field on transition from laminar to turbulent flow and on the turbulent friction factor for pipe flow of mercury. Magnetic-flux densities up to 5700 gauss were obtained with a water-cooled solenoid. Pipes of glass and aluminum were used of approximately 0.1 to 0.2 in. diam. The maximum Hartmann number, with the hydraulic radius (half the actual radius) taken as the characteristic length, was about 20. Measurements were made of the pressure gradient and velocity of flow. The transition Reynolds number was determined from the curve of friction factor against Reynolds number. The results show an increasing value of minimum transition Reynolds number with Hartmann number. The magnetic field also brought about a decrease in the turbulent friction factor and corresponding shear force at the wall.

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