External Flow: Drag and Lift
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Drag, Lift, and Drag Coefficients
We are to compare the speed of two bicyclists.
The bicyclist who leans down and brings his body closer to his knees goes faster
since the frontal areaand thus the drag force is less in that position. The drag coefficient also goes down somewhat, but this is a secondary effect.
This is easily experienced when riding a bicycle down a long hill.
We are to discuss how the local skin friction coefficient changes with position along a flat plate in laminar flow.
The local friction coefficient
decreases with downstream distance
in laminar flow over a flat plate.
At the front of the plate, the boundary layer is very thin, and thus the shear stress at the wall is large. As the boundary layer grows downstream, however, the boundary layer grows in size, decreasing the wall shear stress.
We are to explain when a flow is 2-D, 3-D, and axisymmetric.
The flow over a body is said to be
the body is very long and of constant cross-section, and the flow is normal to the body
(such as the wind blowing over a long pipe perpendicular to its axis). There isno significant flow along the axis of the body. The flow along a body that
possesses symmetry along an axis in the flowdirection
is said to be
(such as a bullet piercing through air). Flow over a body that
cannot be modeled astwo-dimensional or axisymmetric
. The flow over a car is three-dimensional.
As you might expect, 3-D flows are much more difficult to analyze than 2-D or axisymmetric flows.
We are to discuss the difference between upstream and free-stream velocity.
velocity of the fluid relative to the immersed solid body sufficiently far away from a body
velocity of the approaching fluid far ahead of the body
. These two velocities are equal if the flow is uniform and the body is small relative to the scale of the free-streamflow.
This is a subtle difference, and the two terms are often used interchangeably.
We are to discuss the difference between streamlined and blunt bodies.
A body is said to be
if a conscious effort is made to
align its shape with the anticipatedstreamlines in the flow
. Otherwise, a body tends to
block the flow
, and is said to be
. A tennis ball is a blunt body(unless the velocity is very low and we have “creeping flow”).
In creeping flow, the streamlines align themselves with the shape of any body – this is a much differentregime than our normal experiences with flows in air and water. A low-drag body shape in creeping flow looks muchdifferent than a low-drag shape in high Reynolds number flow.