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Friction factors for pipe flow of xanthan-based concentrates of fire fighting foams

Dlugogorski, B.Z., Schaefer, T.H. and Kennedy, E.M. (2005) Friction factors for pipe flow of xanthan-based concentrates of fire fighting foams. In: 8th International Symposium on Fire Safety Science, 18 - 23 September, Beijing, China pp. 707-718.

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In this paper we develop a friction factor correlation to predict the pressure drop during pumping and induction of concentrates of fire fighting foams containing around 1% of xanthan gum. Such concentrates are highly elastic, display small yield stress and exhibit significant thinning upon shearing. We demonstrate that in the turbulent regime, the Blasius equation normally used for Newtonian fluids seems to correlate well the friction factor with the Metzner-Reed Reynolds number. Our development provides an example of how the methodology used to develop the friction factor correlation can be applied to analyse a set of experimental data to verify its internal consistency. The friction factors developed in the paper can be applied to other foam concentrates that include a similar content of xanthan gum in their formulation, to predict pressure drop as a function of a flow rate and pipe diameter, provided that there exists an appropriate viscosity model. Subsequently, the paper presents experimental measurements of apparent viscosity for one foam concentrate and develops relevant viscosity models. We observe that the rheology of the concentrate is governed by the behaviour of xanthan gum. Although, the foam concentrate considered in the article is yield pseudo plastic (i.e., it follows the Herschel-Bulkley model), for the shear stresses normally encountered during pipe flow, the viscosity of the material can be described by a power law model. Over the temperature range of between 0 and 40oC, the apparent viscosity displays only a weak dependence on temperature. Subsequent calculations of pressure drop with temperature demonstrate minor variation in pressure drop with temperature, but only in the turbulent flow regime. This suggests that induction systems intended to operate under widely varying temperature conditions should be designed to function in the turbulent flow regime.

Publication Type: Conference Paper
Copyright: © 2005 International Association for Fire Safety Science.
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