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# 4.

SPRING 2009

## 4.1 Characteristic integral lengths

4.2 The momentum-integral relation
4.3 Application to laminar flow
4.4 Application to turbulent flow
Examples

The integral analysis of boundary layers was originally proposed by Theodore von Krmn
and K. Pohlhausen in separate papers in 1921.
boundary-layer
profile

## 4.1 Characteristic Integral Lengths

equivalent
displaced profile

streamline

Displacement Thickness
The flow near the surface is retarded, so
that the streamlines must be displaced
outwards to satisfy continuity. To reduce
the total mass flow rate of a frictionless
fluid by the same amount, the surface
would have to be displaced outward by a distance
called the displacement thickness:

h+*

*
boundary

*,

## = mass flux deficit

eU e * = ( eU e U ) dy
0

Ue

Ue
*

Momentum Thickness

equal
areas

The loss of momentum flux for the mass flux U dy between adjacent streamlines is
(U e U ) U dy . Hence the total loss of momentum flux is equivalent to the removal of
momentum through a distance , called the momentum thickness:

2
= (U e U ) U dy = momentum flux deficit
eU e

For incompressible flow (with uniform free-stream density) these take particularly simple
forms:

Displacement thickness:

* = (1
) dy
Ue
0

(1)

Momentum thickness:

## Turbulent Boundary Layers

U
U
=
(1
) dy
Ue
0 Ue

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(2)

David Apsley

Shape Factor
The ratio of displacement thickness to momentum thickness is called the shape factor H:
*
Shape factor:
H
(3)

Since 1

U
Ue

>

U
U
(1
) the shape factor is always greater than 1.
Ue
Ue

y

small
H

large
H

## 4.2 The Momentum-Integral Relation

4.2.1 Zero-Pressure-Gradient Boundary Layer
streamline

CONTROL VOLUME

## For a zero-pressure-gradient boundary layer ( e and Ue constant) the rate of loss of

momentum equals the total drag on the surface up to that point; i.e., per unit width:
x

2
e

eU
123
momentum flux deficit

D( x )
1 3
2
total drag force

dx

Differentiating:
d
( eU e2 ) = w
dx
Dividing by eU e2 we can also express it in a simpler non-dimensional form:
c
d
= f
dx 2
Integrating, gives the total drag coefficient (= average skin-friction coefficient) over length L:
2 ( L)
cD =
L
The drag coefficient can then be deduced entirely from the downstream velocity profile.

4-2

David Apsley

## The following derivation applies to a steady, compressible or incompressible, 2-dimensional

boundary layer with arbitrary free-stream pressure gradient.
For complete generality we will allow for a wall transpiration velocity Vw as well as a wall
shear stress w.
Start with the integral momentum flux deficit:

2
= (U e U ) U dy
eU e

Differentiate with respect to x, taking the differential operator through the integral sign and
using the product rule,

d
( eU e2 ) =
{ U (U e U )} dy

0 x
dx

dU e
( U )
U
(U e U ) + U
U
=
dy
x
dx
0 x
In the first underlined term substitute from the continuity equation:
( U )
( V )
=
x
y
In the second underlined term substitute from the boundary-layer momentum equation:
dU e
U
U
U
+ eU e
+
= V
dx
y
y
x
Then

d
( eU e2 ) =
dx
0

dU e
( V )
U
(U e U ) + U

+ V

y
y
dx

Ue

dU e
dy
dx y

dU e
( V )
U
( eU e U )
dy
=
(U e U ) + V
dx
y
y
y
0
Collecting y derivatives together, and simplifying using the product rule and the fact that Ue
is independent of y,

dU e
d

2
( eU e ) =
{ V (U e U ) + } dy
( eU e U ) dy
dx
dx 0
0 y

dU e
d

( eU e2 ) = V (U e U ) +
( eU e *)
dx
dx

## Since Ue U and both vanish at y = , whilst U = 0, V = Vw and =

dU e
d
( eU e2 ) = wV wU e + w
( eU e *)
dx
dx
i.e.
dU e
d
( eU e2 ) + eU e
* = w + wV wU e
dx
dx

4-3

at y = 0,

David Apsley

dU e
d
( eU e2 ) + eU e
* = w + wVwU e
2
4 4
d44 1 3 1 2 3
dx4 4
x 3
1 2 3 14 2
4
rate of loss
of momentum

## effect of free -stream

pressure gradient

wall
stress

(4)

wall
transpirat ion

For constant-density flow the most compact form comes from expanding the first differential
2
and dividing by U e :
dU e c f Vw
d
+ (2 + H )
=
+
dx
U e dx
2 Ue

(5)

where
cf =
H=

U e2

1
2

skin-friction coefficient
shape factor

Notes.
(1) The results also hold along a curved-wall boundary layer, provided that the radius of
curvature is much greater than the thickness of the boundary layer.
(2) The integral relations hold whether the boundary layer is laminar, turbulent or
transitional.
(3) The integral relation is exact only for the correct mean velocity profile. However, the
power of the scheme is that it provides an excellent estimate of drag with only a half-decent
approximation for U(y).
(4) For a flat-plate boundary layer with zero pressure gradient and no wall transpiration,
Krmns integral relation takes the particularly simple form:
Zero pressure-gradient boundary layer:
cf
d
=
(6)
dx
2
L

D( L)
In this case the total-drag coefficient c D ( L) = 1
where D( L) = w dx is given by

2
Ue L
0
2
( L)
c D ( L) = 2
(7)
L
The total drag is entirely determined by the downstream momentum thickness.
(5) The shape factor H is only relevant when there is a free-stream pressure gradient
(dUe/dx 0). A large shape factor indicates a boundary layer approaching separation.
(6) An alternative proof of Krmns integral relation starting from the differential
boundary-layer equations is given in the Examples Section.

4-4

David Apsley

y

U e f ( ),
y
U =
(8)
Ue
y>

## where f (0) = 0, f (0) 0 or , f (1) = 1, f (1) = 0 . (Why is the second condition

important?)
The integral boundary-layer depths are proportional to :
*=A ,
=B

(9)

## and the skin-friction coefficient

dU
dy y = 0
2 f (0)
C
cf = 1
=
=
2
Ue
Re
Ue
2
where A, B and C are constants determined by the particular profile adopted:

(10)

A = (1 f ) d ,

B = f (1 f ) d ,

C = 2 f (0)

## Substituting the expressions for and cf into the integral relation:

cf
C
d
d
d 2 C
=

=
B
B Ue
dx
2
dx 2U e
dx

Hence:
1/ 2

(11)

C x
C
=
= Re 1 / 2
(12)
or
x
U

x B
B e
(x is measured from some virtual origin; in practice, this can be taken as the leading edge).
1/ 2

Since

x1 / 2 we have
cf = 2

d
dx

1/ 2

d
1
=
and hence
dx 2 x

## Summary of Results For a Zero-Pressure-Gradient Laminar Boundary Layer

*=A ,
cf =

=B ,

H=

A
B

c D ( L ) = 2c f ( L )

where
1

A = (1 f ) d ,

0
C
=
B

1/ 2

B = f (1 f ) d ,

C = 2 f (0)

x
Ue

## Turbulent Boundary Layers

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David Apsley

Thus, assuming only that the profile is self-similar, but without any knowledge about its
precise form, we can confirm that

x1 / 2 (or

Re 1 / 2 )
x

c D ( L) Re 1 / 2
L

and

## The simplest profile satisfying

on y = 0
U =0
dU
= 0 on y =
U = Ue,
dy
is (the channel-flow profile)
y
y
U = U e (2 )
or

f( )=2

2
This has A = 1 , B = 15 , C = 4 and gives the following approximations.
3

Approximation
x
1.83
Ue
0.730

x
Ue

2.5

Blasius solution
x
1.72
Ue
0.664

x
Ue

2.59

In both cases,
cf =

x
c D ( L ) = 2c f ( L )

Thus, the drag is correct to within 10% and the shape factor to within 3.5%, even for a simple
approximation. Much better approximations are given in the Examples section.

4-6

David Apsley

## The momentum integral relation for a zero-pressure-gradient boundary layer is

cf
d
=
dx
2
To make this tractable we adopt the power-law approximations that we have met before:
U
y
Velocity profile:
= ( )1 / 7
(13)
Ue
U
Skin-friction coefficient:
(14)
c f = 0.0205 Re 1 / 6 (where Re = e )

From the first of these we can compute displacement and momentum thickness:
U
= 1/ 7 ,
= y/
Ue
Displacement thickness:
1
1
U

* (1
) dy = (1 1 / 7 ) d =
8
Ue
0
0
Momentum thickness:
1
7
U
U
1/ 7
(1
) dy =
(1 1 / 7 ) d

=
72
Ue
0
0Ue
Shape factor:
*
9
H
=
7

(15)

## Substituting for skin-friction coefficient cf and momentum thickness

integral relation,
7 d
)1 / 6
= 0.01025 (
72 dx
Ue
7 1/ 6
d = 0.01025 ( )1 / 6 dx

Ue
72
7 6 7/6

= 0.01025 ( )1 / 6 x

72 7
Ue

(16)

(17)

in the momentum

( ) 7 / 6 = 0.123 (
)1 / 6
x
Uex

Hence
or

Re = 0.166 Re 6 / 7
x

= 0.166 Re 1 / 7
x

(18)

x6/7
Since

x 6 / 7 we have

d
6
1
=
=
, and hence:
dx 7 x 12 x

## Turbulent Boundary Layers

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David Apsley

d
1
= 2
= 0.0277 Re 1 / 7
x
dx
12 x
(Alternatively, use c f = 0.0205 Re 1 / 6 and substitute for Re .)

cf = 2

(19)

2
7
= c f ( L) = 0.032 Re 1 / 7
(20)
L
L
6
i.e. the total drag coefficient is only 7/6 times the local skin friction coefficient at the end of
the plate.

c D ( L) =

## Summary of Results for a Zero-Pressure-Gradient Turbulent Boundary Layer

Boundary-layer depth:
1
7
*= ,
,
=
8
72
where
x

= 0.166 Re 1 / 7
x

H=

or

9
7

x6/7

Frictional drag:
c f = 0.0277 Re 1 / 7
x
c D ( L) =

7
c f ( L) = 0.032 Re 1 / 7
L
6

Note. An earlier and alternative correlation by Prandtl (see Q3 in the Examples) and based on
pipe-flow data gave a skin friction coefficient proportional to x 1 / 5 and resulted in a drag
coefficient c D ( L) = 0.072 Re 1 / 5 . This is still widely used today.
L
0.006

0.005

cD

0.004

0.003
Prandtl
0.002

Modern

0.001

0
1.00E+05

1.00E+06

1.00E+07

1.00E+08

ReL

## Turbulent Boundary Layers

4-8

David Apsley

Examples
Question 1.
Show that, for a power-law velocity profile of the form
1/ n

U y
(y < )
=
Ue
the displacement thickness, momentum thickness and shape factor are given by
1
n+2
n
,
*=
H=
=
,
n +1
(n + 1)(n + 2)
n

Question 2.
Laminar boundary layer profiles may be assumed to be approximately of the form
y
U = U e f ( ),
=

where f (0) = 0, f (1) = 1, f (1) = 0 . Use an integral analysis with the following profiles to
find expressions for *, , H, cf and cD and compare with Blasius solution.
(a) 3 1 3
2
2
(b) 2 2

(c) sin(

Question 3. (White)
An alternative (but less accurate) analysis of turbulent flat-plate flow was given by Prandtl in
1927, using a wall shear-stress formula from pipe flow:
1/ 4

w = 0.0225 U
Ue

Show that an integral analysis with this formula and a 1/7 power law profile for velocity leads
to the following relations for turbulent flat-plate flow:
0.37
0.058
0.072
c D ( L) =
= 1/ 5 ,
cf =
,
1/ 5
x Re x
Re x
Re1 / 5
L
2
e

Question 4.
Show that, in general, if the skin-friction coefficient and momentum thickness for a zeropressure-gradient flat-plate boundary layer are related by
c f = A Re 1 / n
then

2n
n +1
n + 1 A n +1 n +1
,
cf =
c D ( L) = (
) Re x ,
)c f ( L )
= (
n +1 x
n
x n 2
Use this to confirm the results in Section 4.4 and Question 3 above.

## Turbulent Boundary Layers

4-9

David Apsley

Question 5.
Why would a simple power law be a bad approximation to a laminar boundary-layer velocity
profile?

Question 6.
For purely laminar or purely turbulent flat-plate boundary layers the momentum thickness
at distance x from the leading edge is given by:
0.664 Re 1 / 2 , (laminar)
x
=
x 0.0158 Re 1 / 7 , ( turbulent)
x

Ue

## In practice, a turbulent boundary layer is preceded by

an initial laminar region. Since d /dx = 1 c f and the
2
skin-friction coefficient cf is finite, the momentum
thickness must be continuous at the transition point.

turbulent
laminar

x
transition point

Irrespective of any intermediate development, the total drag coefficient for one side of a plate
of length L depends only upon the momentum thickness at the end:
( L)
c D ( L) = 2
L
(a)
Develop a procedure, illustrated by a flowchart showing calculation steps, or by a
computer program, to find the momentum thickness at the end of, and total drag
coefficient for, a flat plate of arbitrary length L. (Rex,tr is assumed to be given.)
Using this procedure, find:
(b)
the transition length;
(c)
the momentum thickness at the downstream end;
(d)
the drag coefficient cD;
(e)
the total drag on one side of a smooth rectangular plate of size 4 m 2 m in an air
flow of 8 m s1 parallel to the long side.
Take Rex,tr = 5105 and, for air, = 1.2 kg m3, = 1.5105 m2 s1.
Question 7.
A wind tunnel has a test section 0.5 m square and 6 m long. To preserve a constant freestream velocity it is sometimes desirable to slant the walls outward.
(a)
Explain the purpose of this wall adjustment.
(b)
If only the roof is to be adjusted, estimate the angle at which it should be slanted in
order to preserve a free-stream velocity of 40 m s1 over a working section from
x = 2 m to x = 4 m, stating any assumptions made.

Question 8.
A square-section duct of side 30 cm and length 12 m carries a throughflow of air at flow rate
3 m3 s1. Assuming that turbulent boundary layers grow along the side walls from the front
edge, estimate:
(a)
the pressure drop along the duct;
(b)
the drag on the side walls.

## Turbulent Boundary Layers

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David Apsley

Question 9.
Starting from the boundary-layer equations in differential form:
dU e
U
U
(momentum)
U
= eU e
+
+ V
dx
y
y
x
( U ) ( V )
+
=0
(continuity)
x
y
derive Krmns integral relation.

Question 10.
A boundary-layer mean-velocity profile is approximated by
u y
u

ln E
(y < )
U =
Ue
(y > )

## where U is continuous at y = . Find * and in terms of u /Ue and .

Question 11.
Assume that the following mean-velocity profile holds across a turbulent boundary layer.
2
y
U 1 u y
)+B+
f( )
= ln(
where
f () = 3 2 23
u

(a)

## Find an expression for U/Ue as a function of and the quantity , where

u
=
,
U e U ()
Ue
Hence, or otherwise, show that the displacement thickness * is given by:
*
= (1 + )

(b)

(c)

## Find a similar expression for / where is the momentum thickness.

Question 12.
In a 2-dimensional, incompressible boundary layer the energy thickness
the integral energy flux deficit:

may be defined by

U E = U (U e2 U 2 ) dy

0
where Ue is the free-stream velocity and U is the wall-parallel mean-velocity component in
the boundary layer.
3
e

Using the boundary-layer equations with shear stress , derive the following relation for
incompressible boundary-layer flow over a plane surface with wall transpiration velocity Vw:

d
U
3
(U e E ) = 2
dy + VwU e2
dx
0 y
Give an interpretation of all the terms.

## Turbulent Boundary Layers

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David Apsley

Answers

(2)
Profile

(a)

3
2

Ue
x

1/ 2

1
2

(b) 2 2

(c) sin(

Ue
x

3 70

4 13

9 35

5 37

= 1.74

1 117

2 70

= 1.75

2 37

3 35

1/ 2

1/ 2

= 0.646

35
= 2.69
13

= 0.685

189
= 2.55
74

1/ 2

2
= 1.74
( 2 / 2) 1 / 2

(2 / 2)1 / 2 = 0.655

2
= 2.66
2 /2

1.72

0.664

2.59

(d) Blasius

In all cases,
cf =

c D ( L ) = 2c f ( L )

## (6) (b) xtr = 0.94 m

(c) L = 6.8103 m
(d) cD = 0.0034
(e) D = 1.05 N
(7) (b) 0.41 degrees
(8) (a) 560 Pa
(b) 56 N

u
Ue
u
u
=
(1 2
)
Ue
Ue

(10) * =

(c)

(11) (a)

U
= 1 + ln + 2 (3
Ue
= (1 + )

19

2 +
6

1)

52
35

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David Apsley