Question: What are the factors that lead to head loss?


The resistance as a liquid flows through a pipe results in a loss of head, commonly called friction loss, and is measured in meters of liquid or head.

Overall head loss in a pipe is affected by a number of factors which include the viscosity of the fluid, the size of the internal pipe diameter, the internal roughness of the inner surface of the pipe, the change in elevation between the ends of the pipe, bends, kinks, and other sharp turns in hose or piping and the length of the pipe along which the fluid travels.

One of the accepted methods to calculate friction losses resulting from fluid motion in pipes is by using the Darcy– Weisbach equation. For a circular pipe:



hf = head loss (m)

f = friction factor

L = length of pipe work (m)

d = inner diameter of pipe work (m)

v = velocity of fluid (m/s)

g = acceleration due to gravity (m/s2)

Article courtesy of Kelair Pumps Australia. For more information, visit

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