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Boundary Layer Approximation

The boundary layer approximation bridges

the gap between the Euler equation and the

Navier–Stokes equation, and between the

slip condition and the no‐slip condition at

solid walls.

(1875–1953) introduced the boundary layer approximation.

Two Zones:

(i) inner flow region; called a boundary layer ‐ a

very thin region of flow near a solid wall where

viscous forces and rotationality cannot be

ignored.

(ii) Outer flow region; inviscid and/or irrotational.

Inviscid Approximation

Viscous Approximation

The boundary layer is so thin that it

does not affect the outer flow

w1w2w3w4

The key to successful application of the boundary layer approximation is the

assumption that the boundary layer is very thin.

Boundary layer thickness, is usually defined as the distance away from the wall

at which the velocity component parallel to the wall is 99% of the fluid speed

outside the boundary layer.

Vx

Reynolds number based on plate local length: Re x

VL

Reynolds number based on plate length: Re L

At a given x‐location, the higher the Reynolds number, the thinner the boundary layer.

Boundary layer thickness varies with downstream distance as it grows downstream

DISPLACEMENT THICKNESS

Displacement thickness is the distance that a streamline just outside of the boundary

layer is deflected away from the wall due to the effect of the boundary layer.

control volume, the mass flow entering the

control volume from the left (at x = 0) must

equal the mass flow exiting from the right

(at some arbitrary location x along the plate)

MOMENTUM THICKNESS

the loss of momentum flux per unit

width divided by U2 due to the

presence of the growing boundary

layer.

volume:

where FD,x is the drag force due to friction on the plate from x = 0 to location x.

2 f ff 0 @ 0, f ( ) 0, f ( ) 0

@ , f ( ) 1

Blasius Equation

Shape factor, H *

Laminar BL, H=2.59

Turbulent BL, H=1.3‐1.4

displacement thickness is 35.0 percent of , and

momentum thickness is 13.5 percent of .

Momentum Integral Technique

Boundary Layer Approximation: and

and mass flow from the top boundary is positive (mass flows out)

The net momentum flux out of the control volume must be balanced by the force due to

the shear stress acting on the control volume by the wall and the net pressure force on

the control surface

The steady control volume x-momentum equation is thus

Karman‐Pohlhausen Approximate Method For

Solution Of Momentum Integral Equation Over A Flat

Plate

For flat plate, U U ( x) Constant

1 dp dU

U ( x) 0

dx dx

y

where

and = **

Boundary Layers with Pressure Gradients

Boundary layer along the fuselage of an Boundary layer growing on the wall

airplane and into the wake (External Flow) of a diffuser

Favourable pressure gradient: When the flow in the inviscid and/or irrotational outer

flow region (outside of the boundary layer) accelerates, U(x) increases and p(x)

decreases.

Unfavourable or adverse pressure gradient: When the outer flow decelerates, U(x)

decreases, p(x) increases.

1 dp dU ( x)

If the adverse pressure gradient is strong enough U ( x) is large , the boundary

dx dx

layer is likely to separate off the wall.

The boundary layer equations are not valid downstream of a separation point

because of reverse flow in the separation bubble.

The classic case of an airfoil at too high of an angle of attack, in which the

separation point moves near the front of the airfoil; the separation bubble covers

nearly the entire upper surface of the airfoil-a condition known as stall.

2u

O is called PI 2 0

y

2u

O is called PI 2 0

y

Diffuser

Nozzle

Throat

Flow Past a Circular Cylinder

Favorable Adverse

Pressure Gradient Pressure Gradient

Pressure gradient plays a significant role; geometry

is more important than Reynolds number

For viscous flow, adverse pressure gradient ‘overcomes’

momentum near the wall, generates inflection point

in the velocity profile, may lead to separation.

Flow Past a Circular Cylinder

Separation starts,

wake forms

Unsteady phenomena:

vortex shedding in the

wake

Fluid Forces Acting on Bodies

Lift and Drag Force

Form Drag: Because of pressure difference,

Geometry dependent

Form Drag

increases; necessary condition:

Drag force acting on a flat plate parallel to the flow adverse pressure gradient

depends on wall shear only.

Friction Drag Drag force acting on a flat plate normal to the flow depends on

the pressure only and is independent of the wall shear.

Drag coefficient:

Lift coefficient:

where A is ordinarily the frontal area (the area projected on a plane normal to the

direction of flow) of the body. In other words, A is the area that would be seen by a

person looking at the body from the direction of the approaching fluid. The frontal area

of a cylinder of diameter D and length L, for example, is A =LD. In lift calculations of

some thin bodies, such as airfoils, A is taken to be the planform area, which is the area

seen by a person looking at the body from above in a direction normal to the body.

Bluff Body

Bluffness (increasing)

Streamline Body: The pressure recovery is almost complete without or

minimal separation of flow giving mostly friction drag.

Bluff Body: Beyond the point of separation, the flow reversal produces

eddies. During flow past bluff-bodies, the desired pressure recovery does not

take place in a separated flow and the situation gives rise to pressure drag or

form drag.

Bluff Body

Lesser the pressure

recovery (at a particular

Reynolds number),

higher the bluffness.

The variation of friction, pressure, and total drag coefficients of a streamlined strut

with thickness-to-chord length ratio for Re =4 104. Note that CD for airfoils and other

thin bodies is based on planform area rather than frontal area.

Here CD is based on the frontal area

bD where b is the width of the body.

Bluffness

At large angles of attack (usually larger than 15°), flow may separate completely from the top

surface of an airfoil, reducing lift drastically and causing the airfoil to stall.

Creeping flow over a Sphere

The inertia effects are negligible in low Reynolds number flows (Re <1), called creeping

flows, and the fluid wraps around the body smoothly.

Stokes law

Number

Independent of Re

Transition of Laminar to Turbulent BL

1/7

u y

Empirical Turbulent flow profile:

U

2 3 4

u y y y y

a0 a1 a2 a3 a4

U

1/7

u y

U

Friction coefficient for parallel flow over smooth and rough flat plates.

Flow Past a Circular Cylinder

relationship between flow structure and the drag coefficient.

Laminar boundary layer separation

with a turbulent wake; flow over a

circular cylinder at Re =2000.

crossflow over a smooth circular

cylinder and a smooth sphere

Creeping Flow Re 1

Drag coefficients CD at low velocities (Re 1 where Re= VD/ and A=D2/4).

Re >104

Re >104

Re >104

CD=1.0

Drag Coefficient in car: 0.7 in 1940 to 0.3 in 2010

Effect of Orientation

A hemisphere at two different orientations for Re > 104

by changing the body’s orientation (and thus shape)

relative to the direction of flow.

Drafting (i.e., falling into the low pressure region created by the body in front).

Effect of Surface Roughness

Sports ball aerodynamics: Tennis and Soccer

A smooth sphere at Re=15,000 A sphere at Re=30,000 with a trip wire.

Swings of tennis/soccer ball are induced by the spin

Drag Force on Swimmers

Some principal types of swimming modes in fish.

Fish Locomotion

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