The process of a liquid or a gas (a fluid) passing through a pipe seems simple enough: open the valve and out flows the desired product, close the valve and it stops coming. For this to happen as a seemingly uneventful occurrence, however, involves matching a number of parameters. How quickly should the fluid exit, are there size restrictions on the transport system (pipe), what materials are acceptable, are there temperature constraints, is it desirable to have any mixing of materials between the source and the terminus, what is the density of the material, its viscosity, its cost? All this and more are factors that must be considered.
When a fluid passes through a pipe there is natural impedance–friction. Laminar flow describes the condition where the fluid can pass with a minimum of interference; it is streamlined so to speak. But there is no such thing as perfect laminar flow just as there are no perpetual motion machines.
Turbulence could be compared antagonistically to laminar flow, but more in the sense that the less the flow is laminar, the more it is turbulent. Fluidal pressure, materials, pipe size and insertions are crucial determinants.
In mixing fluids both industrially and domestically, turbulence becomes paramount for all the ingredients to reach proportional consistency. To insure thoroughness in the most economical manner, static mixers are placed in the transporting lines. From micrometer-sized filters to digitally-controlled steam injectors, an array of these devices are placed in-line to guarantee that what comes out of the pipe is desired material.
Komax Systems, Inc. of Huntington Beach, California, is a global leader with over 100,000 installations that have been precisely fit and engineered to optimally serve their customer base from desalination plants to heating huge industrial tanks.