In the stream-line motion of fluid in a curved pipe the primary motion along the line of the pipe is accompanied by a secondary motion in the plane of the cross-section. The secondary motion decreases the rate of flow produced by a given pressure gradient and causes an outward movement of the region where the primary motion is greatest. It is difficult to deduce these consequences from the exact equations of motion, but it is easy to do so if it is assumed that the actual secondary motion is replaced by a uniform stream; conditions in the central part of the section mainly determines the motion and here the secondary motion is approximately a uniform stream. The appropriate velocity of the stream can be determined from the relation that has been found experimentally between the rate of flow in a curved pipe and the pressure gradient.
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