Flow Over Bodies: Drag and Lift
Flow over Flat Plates
The fluid viscosity is responsible for the development of the velocity boundary layer. Velocityforces the boundary layer closer to the wall. Therefore, the higher the velocity (and thus Reynolds number),the lower the thickness of the boundary layer.
The friction coefficient represents the resistance to fluid flow over a flat plate. It is proportional tothe drag force acting on the plate. The drag coefficient for a flat surface is equivalent to the mean frictioncoefficient.
The local friction coefficient decreases with downstream distance in laminar flow over a flat plate.
The average friction coefficient in flow over a flat plate is determined by integrating the localfriction coefficient over the entire plate, and then dividing it by the length of the plate. Or, it can bedetermined experimentally by measuring the drag force, and dividing it by the dynamic pressure.
Light oil flows over a flat plate. The total drag force per unit width of the plate is to be determined.
The flow is steady and incompressible.
The critical Reynolds number is Re
= 5 × 10
The surface of the plate is smooth.
The density and kinematic viscosity of light oil at 75°F are
= 55.3 lbm/ft
= 15 ft, the Reynolds number at the end of the plate is
which is less than the critical Reynolds number. Thus we have
over the entire plate, and the average friction coefficient is determined from01232.0)10161.1(328.1Re328.1
= 15 ft
Noting that the pressure drag is zero and thus
for a flat plate, thedrag force acting on the top surface of the plate per unit width becomes
V AC F
The total drag force acting on the entire plate can be determined by multiplying the value obtained above by the width of the plate.
The force per unit width corresponds to the weight of a mass of 5.87 lbm. Therefore, a personwho applies an equal and opposite force to the plate to keep it from moving will feel like he or she is usingas much force as is necessary to hold a 5.87 lbm mass from dropping.
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