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Pipes and Cylinders - Conductive Heat Losses

Conductive heat losses through cylinder or pipe walls.

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Cylinder or pipe - heat loss

Uninsulated Cylinder or Pipe

Conductive heat loss through the wall of a cylinder or pipe can be expressed as

Q = 2 π L (ti - to) / [ln(r/ ri) / k]                              (1)


Q = heat transfer from cylinder or pipe (W, Btu/hr)

k = thermal conductivity of piping material (W/mK or W/m oC, Btu/(hr oF ft2/ft))

L = length of cylinder or pipe (m, ft)

π = pi = 3.14...

to = temperature outside pipe or cylinder (K or oC, oF)

ti = temperature inside pipe or cylinder (K or oC, oF)

ln = the natural logarithm

ro = cylinder or pipe outside radius (m, ft)

ri = cylinder or pipe inside radius (m, ft)

Insulated Cylinder or Pipe

Conductive heat loss through an insulated cylinder or pipe can be expressed as

Q = 2 π L (ti - to) / [(ln(r/ ri) / k) + (ln(rs / ro) / ks)]                          (2)


rs = outside radius of insulation (m, ft)

ks = thermal conductivity of insulation material (W/mK or W/m oC, Btu/(hr oF ft2/ft))

Equation 2 with inside convective heat resistance can be expressed as

Q = 2 π L (ti - to) / [1 / (hc ri ) + (ln(r/ ri) / k) + (ln(rs / ro) / ks)]                          (3)


hc = convective heat transfer coefficient (W/m2K)

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Related Topics

Heat Loss and Insulation

Heat loss from pipes, tubes and tanks - with and without insulation - foam, fiberglass, rockwool and more.


Heat transfer and heat loss from buildings and technical applications - heat transfer coefficients and insulation methods to reduce energy consumption.


Thermodynamics of steam and condensate systems.

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Heat loss to surrounding air from insulated copper tubes.

Copper Tubes - Uninsulated Heat Losses

Heat loss from uninsulated copper pipes - dimensions ranging 1/2 - 4 inches.

Oil Pipes - Heat Loss

Heat loss in W/mK and Btu/hr ft oF from oil tubes ranging temperatures 10 - 38oC (50 - 100oF).

Piping - Recommended Insulation Thickness

Recommended insulation thickness for heating systems like hot water and low, medium or high pressure steam systems.

Steel Pipes - Heat Loss Diagram

Heat loss from steel pipes and tubes - dimensions 1/2 to 12 inches.

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