Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Aerospace, Physics, and Space Sciences

First Advisor

Daniel Robert Kirk

Second Advisor

Mark Archambault

Third Advisor

Maria Pozo de Fernandez

Fourth Advisor

David Fleming


A practical CFD k-epsilon realizable model is applied to four pipe systems with various 90° bend configurations to examine velocity profile evolution and total pressure losses within the pipe systems. The pipe systems compared are a configuration with a single 90° L-bend, as well as three additional pipe configurations composed of dual 90° bends, all with total length x/D=16.7. The dual bend configurations studied are: a 180° turning U-bend, a 0° total turning S-bend, and a dual 90° out-of-plane, compound C-bend. The CFD model was benchmarked against experimental data from a straight pipe and a pipe configuration with a single 90° bend. For entrance Reynolds number of 5x104, the S-bend had the highest total pressure loss, followed by the C-bend, U-bend, L-bend and then straight pipe of same length. As compared with a straight pipe, the S-bend has 70.9% additional pressure loss, and then C-bend, U-bend, and L-bend have 49.3%, 41.5%, and 34.8% additional pressure loss, respectively. This study demonstrates that some 2D in-plane pipe system geometries can actually have greater total pressure loss that seemingly more complex 3D out-of-plane pipe systems. This study’s goal is to provide such results to assist in the design and layout of pipe systems which require the use of multiple bends and demand optimized exit flow characteristics to meet flow performance requirements, especially for rocket launch vehicle applications where space and weight are at a premium.