Attempts to describe the fluid flow through pipes were made by domestic and foreign scientists at different times. The article provides an overview of scientific papers in the field of hydraulic studies of pipelines published in the XVIII – XX centuries, based on processing the results of a wealth of experimental data obtained for various hydrodynamic conditions. A significant role was played by work of the French school representatives H. Darcy and G. de Prony, who first demonstrated the dependence of hydraulic losses on the diameter and roughness of the inner wall of pipes. In consequence, up to the end of the 19th century, two competing scientific directions can be observed: the study of hydraulic friction at “low” and “high” fluid velocities. The beginning of the “reconciliation” of the controversial research results was laid by the works of N.P. Petrov and O. Reynolds. The limited use of empirical dependencies does not allow to extend any of the proposed formulas to the whole range of operating modes of pipelines. For each particular case, it is necessary to analyze the accuracy of the equations used by comparison with actual operation data. A retrospective analysis of the scientific and technical literature in the field of pipeline’s hydraulics reveals the variability of methodological approaches and formal decisions in the study of quantitative estimates of the parameters of fluid flow in pipes. It was shown that the concept of using the relative roughness of the inner wall of the pipe D/D as an adaptive factor in determining hydraulic losses in pipes can be traced from Darcy’s works and has gained its methodological substantiation in the works of L. Prandtl’s school.
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