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Separation

Unit # 5: Potter 8.2, 8.3.2, 8.6.7

Negative and positive pressure gradients

occur in a converging diverging duct

Boundary layer flow with pressure gradient

boundary layer

• This is not valid for boundary layer over curved surface like

airfoil

• Owing to object’s shape the freestream velocity just outside the

boundary layer varies along the length of the surface.

• As per Bernoullis equation, the static pressure in the freestream

varies in x- direction.

• As the pressure just outside of a boundary layer varies along x

axis that inside the boundary layer also varies along x axis

Separation

• Normally fluid travels from high to low pressure,

but in some cases fluid particles can move against

higher pressure by virtue of its kinetic energy.

inside the boundary layer could reduce so much

that the kinetic energy is no longer adequate to

move the particles against the pressure gradient.

have energy to move forward a rolling of fluid

streams occurs, which is called separation

Onset of separation

Equation

Navier Stokes eq. is valid inside boundary

layer. Eq. (8.6.45) from Potter we have

∂u ∂u 1 dP µ ∂ 2u

u +v =− +

∂x ∂y ρ dx ρ ∂y 2

∂ 2u 1 dP

=

∂y 2 wall

µ dx

•

Separation Equation

• When pressure decreases (dP/dx <0) second derivative of

velocity is negative. So the velocity initially increases

fast and then gently blend with the free stream velocity U

• For adverse pressure gradient ( dP/dx >0) second

derivative is positive at wall but must be negative at the

top of boundary layer to match with U. Thus it must pass

through a point of inflexion.

• Separation occurs when the velocity gradient is zero at

the wall and shear stress at wall is zero (δu/δy = 0)

Influence

of the

pressure

gradient.

Separation

• Separation starts with zero velocity gradient at the wall

dP/dx > 0

• Adverse pressure gradient is necessary for separation

So, pressure in the separated region is

constant.

Effect of separation

• Increases the drag because:

convert their rotational energy back into pressure head.

• A) The low pressure in separated region persists in the

entire downstream region.

• C) The difference between high pressure at the front and

low pressure at rear increases the drag.

• D) This increase in drag overshadows any increase in lift

due to increase in the angle of attack

Severe separation causes stalling

Fluid in turbulent boundary layer has appreciably more

momentum than that in laminar B.L. Turbulent B.L can

penetrate further into an adverse pressure gradient without

separation

Effect of a wire ring on separation

How to reduce separation

• Streamlining reduces adverse pressure gradient beyond

the maximum thickness and delays separation

• Fluid particles lose kinetic energy near separation point.

So these are either removed by suction or higher energy

• Roughening surface to force early transition to turbulent

boundary layer

Separation delays

by suction

Drag on airfoil

• Separation is reduced

by slightly bending

the leading edge.

• By giving air foil

shape to the plate

drag is further

reduced

• But further tilting

brings back the

separation

Problem (White-7.63)

• Assume that the front surface velocity on an

infinitely long cylinder is given by potential theory ,

V = 2Usinθ from which the surface pressure is

computed by Bernoullis equation. In the separated

flow on the rear, the pressure is assumed equal to its

value at θ = 90. Compute the theoretical drag

coefficient and compare that with the experimental

value of 1.2

[This problem may show the inadequacy of potential flow

theory near the surface]

Boundary layer growth in a nozzle-

diffuser

Nozzle Throat Diffuser

Decreasing Constant Increasing

Velocity Velocity Velocity

increasing Constant decreasing

Pressure Pressure Pressure

decreases Constant increases

Pressure gradient Pressure gradient Pressure gradient

Favourable Zero Adverse

Influence of a

strong pressure

gradient on a

turbulent flow:

(a) a strong

negative pressure

gradient may re-

laminarize a

flow; (b) a strong

positive pressure

gradient causes a

strong boundary

layer top thicken.

(Photograph by

R.E. Falco)

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