What are the potential problems of high velocity in pipes?

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Flow velocity seldom causes abrasion problem for concrete pipes. Instead, the particles carried by effluent in high velocity may create abrasion problem of concrete. The abrasive effect is dependent on the size of particles and velocity. In most circumstances, the problem of abrasion shall be avoided for flow velocities less than 8m/s.

Very high velocity (i.e. more than 10m/s) could also induce significant cavitation problem because air bubbles are formed from low water pressure and they would collapse when entering a region of high water


This question is taken from book named – A Closer Look at Prevailing Civil Engineering Practice – What, Why and How by Vincent T. H. CHU.

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  • PJ Griffin September 9, 2010 at 9:52 am

    Hi, I am looking for some additional information with regards to high velocities in PE pipes (e.g up to 10 m/s in a gravity sewer). Can it be done and what precautions are necessary?

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