A simple, fixed-head flow device was used to characterize drag reduction by polymers in water. Using a parallel flow of water as a reference system, the Reynolds numbers ranged from 8600 to 12,000. The degradation of poly(ethylene oxide) and polyacrylamide during turbulent flow of dilute solutions (1 to 50 g/kl) was measured in terms of friction-reducing effectiveness. Poly(ethylene oxide) decreases in effectiveness more rapidly than polyacrylamide in a recycling test.
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