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# Boundary Layer

## TITLE : FLAT PLATE BOUNDARY LAYER

OBJECTIVES
The objective of this experiment are as follows:
To measure the boundary layer velocity profiles and observes the growth of the
boundary layer for flat plate with smooth and rough surfaces.
To measure the boundary layer properties for the measured velocity profiles.
To study the effect of surface roughness on the development of boundary layer.
INTRODUCTION
The concept of boundary layer was first introduced by Ludwig Prandtl, a German
aerodynamicist in 1904. The boundary layer concept provided the link that had been
missing between theory and practice. Furthermore, the boundary layer concept
permitted the solution of viscous flow problems that would have been impossible through
application the Navier-Stokes equation to the complete flow field.
As for flow in a duct, flow in a boundary layer may be laminar or turbulent. There is no
unique value of the Reynolds number at which transition from laminar to turbulent flow
occur in a boundary layer. Among the factors that affect boundary-layer transition are
pressure gradient, surface roughness, heat transfer, body forces and free stream
disturbances.
In many real flow situations, a boundary layer develops over a long, essentially flat
surface. A qualitative picture of the boundary layer growth over a flat plate is shown in
figure 1 below.
Figure 1.1: Boundary layer on a flat plate (Vertical thickness exaggerate greatly)
Boundary Layer
THEORY
Some measures of boundary layers are described in figure 1.2 below.
Figure 1.2 : Boundary Layer thickness definitions
The boundary layer thickness, , is defined as the distance from the surface to the point
where the velocity is within 1 percent of the stream velocity. The displacement thickness,
*, is the distance by which the solid boundary would have to be displaced in a
frictionless flow to give the same mass deficit as exists in the boundary layer.
The momentum thickness, , is define as the thickness of a layer of fluid of velocity, U
(free stream velocity), for which the momentum flux is equal to the deficit of momentum
flux through the boundary layer. The Blasiuss exact solutions to the laminar boundary
yield the following equations for the above properties.

x
x
x
x
x
x
Re
664 . 0
Re
72 . 1
Re
0 . 5

Boundary Layer
Due to the complexity of the flow, there is no exact solution to the turbulent boundary
layer. The velocity profile within the boundary layer commonly approximated using the
1/7 power law.
7
1

,
_

y
U
u
The properties of boundary layer are approximated using the momentum integral
equation, which result in the following expression.
Another measure of the boundary layer is the shape factor, H, which is the ratio of the
displacement thickness to the momentum thickness, H = */. For laminar flow, H
increases from 2.6 to 3.5 at separation. For turbulent boundary layer, H increases from
1.3 to approximately 2.5 at separation.
5
1
5
1
5
1
Re
036 . 0
Re
0463 . 0
Re
370 . 0
x
x
x
x
x
x

Boundary Layer
EXPERIMENT APPARATUS
The experiment set up consists of:
1. Airflow Bench
2. Test Apparatus
3. Total and static tube pressure probes and multi tube manometer.
On-off
switch
Damper
control rod
Plenum
outlet
Boundary Layer
PROCEDURES
1. The apparatus has been set up on the bench as shown on figure 4 uses the flat
plate with the smooth surface for the first part of the experiment.
2. Set the pitot tube about 15mm away from the edge of the central plate.
3. Adjust the position of the central plate to set the measurement plane at the
required distance from the leading edge, say 40mm.
4. Switch on the fan and adjust the air speed to set the free stream air velocity at
medium speed.
5. Reading of the total pressure is measured using the Pitot tube for a range of
about 10 points as the tube is traversed towards the plate. Initially the readings
should be almost constant showing that the probe is in the free stream outside the
boundary layer. Should it not be so, go back and start further from the plate.
6. As the pressure begins to fall the increment of advance should be reduced so as
to clearly define the velocity profile. The pressure reading will not fall to zero as the
Pitot tube has a finite thickness. A further indication that the wall has been reached is
that the pressure readings will be constant.
7. Repeat the experiment to set the measurement plane at 150 mm.
8. Repeat the entire experiment for the rough surface.
Boundary Layer
RESULT AND CALCULATION
TABULATION OF DATA AND SAMPLE CALCULATION:
1. Smooth surface with distance from the leading edge, x = 40
Room temperature: 30

C
air = 1.177 kg/m
3
= 1.30 x 10
-5
m
2
/s
oil = 784 kg/m
3
Free stream velocity, U =
a
o
h g

2
m/s
=
177 . 1
10 22 81 . 9 784 2
3

m/s
= 16.96 m/s
Reynolds number, Rex =

Ux
=
5
3
10 30 . 1
10 40 96 . 16

= 52184.6
Boundary Layer
2. Smooth surface with distance from the leading edge, x = 150
Room temperature: 30

C
air = 1.177 kg/m
3
= 1.30 x 10
-5
m
2
/s
oil = 784 kg/m
3
Free stream velocity U =
a
o
h g

2
m/s
=
177 . 1
10 22 81 . 9 784 2
3

m/s
= 16.96m/s
Reynolds number, Rex=

Ux
=
5
3
10 30 . 1
10 150 96 . 16

= 195692.3
Boundary Layer
3. Rough surface with distance from the leading edge, x = 40
Room temperature: 30

C
air = 1.177 kg/m
3
= 1.30 x 10
-5
m
2
/s
oil = 784 kg/m
3
Free stream velocity U =
a
o
h g

2
m/s
=
177 . 1
10 26 81 . 9 784 2
3

m/s
= 18.43m/s

Reynolds number, Rex =

Ux
=
5
3
10 30 . 1
10 40 43 . 18

= 56718.2
Boundary Layer
4. Rough surface with distance from the leading edge, x = 150
Room temperature: 30

C
air = 1.177 kg/m
3
= 1.30 x 10
-5
m
2
/s
oil = 784 kg/m
3
Free stream velocity U =
a
o
h g

2
m/s
=
177 . 1
10 22 81 . 9 784 2
3

m/s
= 16.96 m/s
Reynolds number, Re =

Ux
=
5
3
10 30 . 1
10 150 96 . 16

= 195692.3
Boundary Layer
TABLE:
Table 1: Tabulation of data for smooth surface with x = 40mm
Micrometer
reading
y (mm)
Static
pressure
manometer,
h (mm)
Total
pressure
manometer
, h (mm)
Differential
manometer
height
h (mm)
Free
stream
velocity,
U (m/s)
Reynolds
number
U
u
1
]
1

U
u
U
u
1
0 100 122 22 16.96 52184.62 0.767 0.179
0.5 100 126 26 18.43 56707.69 0.705 0.208
1.0 100 128 28 19.13 58861.54 0.680 0.218
1.5 100 128 28 19.13 58861.54 0.680 0.218
2.0 100 128 28 19.13 58861.54 0.680 0.218
2.5 102 130 28 19.13 58861.54 0.680 0.218
3.0 102 130 28 19.13 58861.54 0.680 0.218
3.5 102 130 28 19.13 58861.54 0.680 0.218
4.0 102 130 28 19.13 58861.54 0.680 0.218
4.5 102 130 28 19.13 58861.54 0.680 0.218
Boundary Layer
Table 2: Tabulation of data for smooth surface with x = 150mm
Micrometer
reading
y (mm)
Static
pressure
manometer,
h (mm)
Total
pressure
manometer
, h (mm)
Differential
manometer
height
h (mm)
Free
stream
velocity,
U (m/s)
Reynolds
number U
u
1
1
]
1

U
u
U
u
1
0 100 122 22 16.96 195692.3 0.767 0.179
0.5 100 126 26 18.43 212693.3 0.705 0.208
1.0 100 128 28 19.13 220730.8 0.680 0.218
1.5 100 130 30 19.80 228469.3 0.657 0.225
2.0 100 130 30 19.80 228469.3 0.657 0.225
2.5 100 132 32 20.45 235962.1 0.636 0.232
3.0 102 132 30 19.80 228469.3 0.657 0.225
3.5 102 132 30 19.80 228469.3 0.657 0.225
4.0 102 132 30 19.80 228469.3 0.657 0.225
4.5 102 132 30 19.80 228469.3 0.657 0.225
Boundary Layer
Table 3: Tabulation of data for rough surface with x = 40mm
Micrometer
reading
y (mm)
Static
pressure
manometer,
h (mm)
Total
pressure
manometer
, h (mm)
Differential
manometer
height
h (mm)
Free
stream
velocity,
U (m/s)
Reynolds
number U
u
1
]
1

U
u
U
u
1
0 100 126 26 18.43 56718.2 0.705 0.208
0.5 100 128 28 19.13 58861.5 0.680 0.218
1.0 100 128 28 19.13 58861.5 0.680 0.218
1.5 100 130 30 19.80 60925.1 0.657 0.225
2.0 102 130 30 19.80 60925.1 0.657 0.225
2.5 102 130 30 19.80 60925.1 0.657 0.225
3.0 102 130 30 19.80 60925.1 0.657 0.225
3.5 102 130 30 19.80 60925.1 0.657 0.225
4.0 102 130 30 19.80 60925.1 0.657 0.225
4.5 102 130 30 19.80 60925.1 0.657 0.225
Boundary Layer
Table 4: Tabulation of data for rough surface with x = 150mm
Micrometer
reading
y (mm)
Static
pressure
manometer,
h (mm)
Total
pressure
manometer
, h (mm)
Differential
manometer
height
h (mm)
Free
stream
velocity,
U (m/s)
Reynolds
number U
u
1
1
]
1

U
u
U
u
1
0 100 122 22 16.96 195692.3 0.767 0.179
0.5 100 124 24 17.71 204349.1 0.734 0.195
1.0 100 126 26 18.43 212693.3 0.705 0.208
1.5 100 128 28 19.13 220730.8 0.680 0.218
2.0 102 130 28 19.13 220730.8
0.680 0.218
2.5 102 130 28 19.13 220730.8
0.680 0.218
3.0 102 130 28 19.13 220730.8
0.680 0.218
3.5 102 130 28 19.13 220730.8
0.680 0.218
4.0 102 130 28 19.13 220730.8
0.680 0.218
4.5 102 130 28 19.13 220730.8
0.680 0.218
Boundary Layer
A. Sample calculation for boundary layer thickness, , displacement thickness,

,
momentum thickness, and shape factor, H by using experimental.
For smooth surface with x = 40mm
i. Boundary layer thickness, = 15mm
ii. Displacement thickness,

= A1 x
= 0.11 x 15
= 1.65 mm
iii. Momentum thickness, = A2 x
= 0.061 x 15
= 0.915 mm
iv. Shape factor, H =

=
915 . 0
65 . 1
= 1.803
For smooth surface with x = 150mm
i. Boundary layer thickness, = 15mm
ii. Displacement thickness,

= A3 x
= 0.0963 x 15
= 1.445 mm
iii. Momentum thickness, = A4 x
= 0.07 x 15
= 1.05 mm
iv. Shape factor, H =

=
05 . 1
445 . 1
= 1.376
Boundary Layer
For rough surface with x = 40mm
i. Boundary layer thickness, = 15mm
ii. Displacement thickness,

= A5 x
= 0.0835 x 15
= 1.25 mm
iii. Momentum thickness, = A6 x
= 0.065 x 15
= 0.975 mm
iv. Shape factor, H =

=
975 . 0
25 . 1
= 1.282
For rough surface with x = 150mm
i. Boundary layer thickness, = 15mm
ii. Displacement thickness,

= A7 x
= 0.0979 x 15
= 1.469 mm
iii. Momentum thickness, = A8 x
= 0.0726 x 15
= 1.089 mm
iv. Shape factor, H =

=
089 . 1
469 . 1
= 1.349
Boundary Layer
B. Sample calculation for boundary layer thickness, , displacement thickness,

,
momentum thickness, and shape factor, H by using theoretical.
LAMINAR BOUNDARY LAYER
For smooth surface with x = 40mm
i.
x
x
Re
0 . 5

mm
m
876 . 0
10 755 . 8
62 . 52184
04 . 0 0 . 5
4

ii.
x
x
Re
72 . 1

mm
m
301 . 0
10 012 . 3
62 . 52184
04 . 0 72 . 1
4

iii.
x
x
Re
664 . 0

mm
m
116 . 0
10 163 . 1
62 . 52184
04 . 0 664 . 0
4

iv.

H

595 . 2
116 . 0
301 . 0

Boundary Layer
For smooth surface with x = 150mm
i.
x
x
Re
0 . 5

mm
m
695 . 1
10 695 . 1
3 . 195692
15 . 0 0 . 5
3

ii.
x
x
Re
72 . 1

mm
m
583 . 0
10 832 . 5
3 . 195692
15 . 0 72 . 1
4

iii.
x
x
Re
664 . 0

mm
m
225 . 0
10 252 . 2
3 . 195692
15 . 0 664 . 0
4

iv.

H

591 . 2
225 . 0
583 . 0

Boundary Layer
For rough surface with x = 40mm
i.
x
x
Re
0 . 5

mm
m
840 . 0
10 398 . 8
2 . 56718
04 . 0 0 . 5
4

ii.
x
x
Re
72 . 1

mm
m
289 . 0
10 889 . 2
2 . 56718
04 . 0 72 . 1
4

iii.
x
x
Re
664 . 0

mm
m
112 . 0
10 115 . 1
2 . 56718
04 . 0 664 . 0
4

iv.

H

591 . 2
112 . 0
289 . 0

Boundary Layer
For rough surface with x = 150mm
i.
x
x
Re
0 . 5

mm
m
695 . 1
10 695 . 1
3 . 195692
15 . 0 0 . 5
3

ii.
x
x
Re
72 . 1

mm
m
583 . 0
10 832 . 5
3 . 195692
15 . 0 72 . 1
4

iii.
x
x
Re
664 . 0

mm
m
225 . 0
10 252 . 2
3 . 195692
15 . 0 664 . 0
4

iv.

H

591 . 2
225 . 0
583 . 0

Boundary Layer
TURBULENT BOUNDARY LAYER
For smooth surface with x = 40mm
i.
5
1
) (Re
370 . 0
x
x

mm
m
686 . 1
10 686 . 1
) 6 . 52184 (
04 . 0 370 . 0
3
5
1

ii.
5
1
(Re)
0463 . 0 x

mm
m
2109 . 0
10 109 . 2
) 6 . 52184 (
04 . 0 0463 . 0
4
5
1

iii.
5
1
) (Re
036 . 0
x
x

mm
m
164 . 0
10 640 . 1
) 6 . 52184 (
04 . 0 036 . 0
4
5
1

iv.

H

286 . 1
1640 . 0
2109 . 0

Boundary Layer
For smooth surface with x = 150mm
i.
5
1
) (Re
370 . 0
x
x

mm
m
853 . 4
10 853 . 4
) 3 . 195692 (
15 . 0 370 . 0
3
5
1

ii.
5
1
(Re)
0463 . 0 x

mm
m
6072 . 0
10 072 . 6
) 3 . 195692 (
15 . 0 0463 . 0
4
5
1

iii.
5
1
) (Re
036 . 0
x
x

mm
m
4721 . 0
10 721 . 4
) 3 . 195692 (
15 . 0 036 . 0
4
5
1

iv.

H

286 . 1
4721 . 0
6072 . 0

Boundary Layer
For rough surface with x = 40mm
i.
5
1
) (Re
370 . 0
x
x

mm
m
658 . 1
10 658 . 1
) 2 . 56718 (
04 . 0 370 . 0
3
5
1

ii.
5
1
(Re)
0463 . 0 x

mm
m
2074 . 0
10 074 . 2
) 2 . 56718 (
04 . 0 0463 . 0
4
5
1

iii.
5
1
) (Re
036 . 0
x
x

mm
m
1613 . 0
10 613 . 1
) 2 . 56718 (
04 . 0 036 . 0
4
5
1

iv.

H

286 . 1
1613 . 0
2074 . 0

Boundary Layer
For rough surface with x = 150mm (refer to data D)
i.
5
1
) (Re
370 . 0
x
x

mm
m
853 . 4
10 853 . 4
) 3 . 195692 (
15 . 0 370 . 0
3
5
1

ii.
5
1
(Re)
0463 . 0 x

mm
m
6072 . 0
10 072 . 6
) 3 . 195692 (
15 . 0 0463 . 0
4
5
1

iii.
5
1
) (Re
036 . 0
x
x

mm
m
4721 . 0
10 721 . 4
) 3 . 195692 (
15 . 0 036 . 0
4
5
1

iv.

H

286 . 1
4721 . 0
6072 . 0

Boundary Layer
TABLE 5: Table of comparison for smooth and rough surface under experimental value
and theoretical.
For smooth surface: 40mm ( Rex =52184.6)
EXPERIMENT
( m )
THEORY
LAMINAR ( m ) TURBULENT ( m )

15 x 10
-3
8.03 x 10
-4
1.628 x 10
-3
* 1.65 x 10
-3
3.333 x 10
-4
2.038 x 10
-4
0.915 x 10
-3
1.287 x 10
-4
1.584 x 10
-4
H 1.808 2.591 1.287
For smooth surface: 150mm (Rex =195692.3)
EXPERIMENT
( m )
THEORY
LAMINAR ( m ) TURBULENT ( m )
15 x 10
-3
1.528 x 10
-3
4.655 x 10
-3
*
1.445 x10
-3
5.257 x 10
-4
5.825 x 10
-4

1.05 x 10
-3
2.029 x 10
-4
4.529 x 10
-4
H 1.376 2.591 1.286
For rough surface: 40mm (Rex =56718.2)
EXPERIMENT
( m )
THEORY
LAMINAR ( m ) TURBULENT ( m )

15 x 10
-3
8.127 x 10
-4
1.636 x 10
-3
* 1.25 x 10
-3
2.796 x 10
-4
2.047 x 10
-4
0.975 x 10
-3
1.079 x 10
-4
1.592 x 10
-4
H 1.282 2.591 1.286
For rough surface: 150mm (Rex =195692.3)
EXPERIMENT
( m )
THEORY
LAMINAR ( m ) TURBULENT ( m )

15 x 10
-3
1.584 x 10
-3
4.722 x 10
-3
* 1.469 x 10
-3
5.449 x 10
-4
5.909 x 10
-4
1.089 x 10
-3
2.103 x 10
-4
4.595 x 10
-4
H 1.349 2.591 1.268
Boundary Layer
DISCUSSION
The micrometer reading (y) has to be started from 1.0mm as shown in the table 1,
table 2, table 3 and table 4.
The value of displacement thickness (
*
) is obtained by the graph of

U
u
vs
y

.
The value of momentum thickness () is obtained by the graph of
1
]
1

U
u
U
u
vs
y
1

.
CONCLUSION
This experiment, we can say that the various boundary layer velocity profiles such as
boundary layer thickness (), displacement thickness (
*
), momentum thickness () and
shape factor (H) are depend on the distance from the leading edge and the surface
condition. All the result is as state in table 5. From the table, the boundary layer property
is increasing between smooth and rough surface. Another facts that we can conclude
are the micrometer reading (y) for the smooth surface is lower than the rough surface. It
is because the free stream at rough surface occurs faster than the smooth surface. Also
as expected is increasing with increasing distance from leading edge for both smooth
and rough surface. From experiment note that shape factor decreasing as distance from
leading edge increasing showing boundary layer is changing from laminar to turbulent.
REFERENCES:
1. FLUID MECHANICS, J. F. Douglas, J. M. Gasiorek, J. A. Swaffield, Third
Edition, Longman Scientific & Technical
2. INTRODUCTION TO FLUID MECHANICS, Robert W. Fox, Alan McDonald,
Second Edition, John Wiley & Sons.