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In fluid dynamics, laminar flow (or streamline flow) occurs when a fluid flows in parallel

layers, with no disruption between the layers.[1] At low velocities, the fluid tends to flow

without lateral mixing, and adjacent layers slide past one another like playing cards. There are

no cross-currents perpendicular to the direction of flow, nor eddies or swirls of fluids.[2] In

laminar flow, the motion of the particles of the fluid is very orderly with particles close to a

solid surface moving in straight lines parallel to that surface.[3] Laminar flow is a flow regime

characterized by high momentum diffusion and low momentum convection.

When a fluid is flowing through a closed channel such as a pipe or between two flat plates,

either of two types of flow may occur depending on the velocity and viscosity of the fluid:

laminar flow or turbulent flow. Laminar flow tends to occur at lower velocities, below a

threshold at which it becomes turbulent. Turbulent flow is a less orderly flow regime that is

characterised by eddies or small packets of fluid particles, which result in lateral mixing.[2] In

non-scientific terms, laminar flow issmooth, while turbulent flow isrough. A sphere in Stokes flow, at

very low Reynolds number.

An object moving through a

fluid experiences a drag

Contents force in the direction

opposite to its motion.

Relationship with the Reynolds number

Examples

Laminar flow barriers

See also

References

External links

The type of flow occurring in a fluid in a channel is important in fluid-dynamics problems and subsequently affects heat and mass

transfer in fluid systems. The dimensionless Reynolds number is an important parameter in the equations that describe whether fully

developed flow conditions lead to laminar or turbulent flow. The Reynolds number is the ratio of the inertial force to the shearing

force of the fluid: how fast the fluid is moving relative to how viscous it is, irrespective of the scale of the fluid system. Laminar flow

generally occurs when the fluid is moving slowly or the fluid is very viscous. As the Reynolds number increases, such as by

increasing the flow rate of the fluid, the flow will transition from laminar to turbulent flow at a specific range of Reynolds numbers,

the laminar–turbulent transition range depending on small disturbance levels in the fluid or imperfections in the flow system. If the

Reynolds number is very small, much less than 1, then the fluid will exhibit Stokes, or creeping, flow, where the viscous forces of the

fluid dominate the inertial forces.

The specific calculation of the Reynolds number, and the values where laminar flow occurs, will depend on the geometry of the flow

system and flow pattern. The common example isflow through a pipe, where the Reynolds number is defined as

where:

DH is the hydraulic diameter of the pipe (m);

Q is the volumetric flow rate (m3/s);

A is the pipe's cross-sectional area (m2);

u is the mean speed of the fluid (SI units: m/s);

μ is the dynamic viscosity of the fluid (Pa·s = N·s/m2 = kg/(m·s));

ν is the kinematic viscosity of the fluid, ν = μρ (m2/s);

ρ is the density of the fluid (kg/m3).

For such systems, laminar flow occurs when the Reynolds number is below a critical value of approximately 2,040, though the

[4]

transition range is typically between 1,800 and 2,100.

For fluid systems occurring on external surfaces, such as flow past objects suspended in the fluid, other definitions for Reynolds

numbers can be used to predict the type of flow around the object. The particle Reynolds number Rep would be used for particle

suspended in flowing fluids, for example. As with flow in pipes, laminar flow typically occurs with lower Reynolds numbers, while

turbulent flow and related phenomena, such asvortex shedding, occur with higher Reynolds numbers.

Examples

A common application of laminar flow is in

the smooth flow of a viscous liquid through a

tube or pipe. In that case, the velocity of flow

varies from zero at the walls to a maximum

along the cross-sectional centre of the vessel. In the case of a moving plate in a

The velocity profile

liquid, it is found that there is a layer

associated with laminar The flow profile of laminar flow in a tube can

(lamina) that moves with the plate,

flow resembles a deck of be calculated by dividing the flow into thin and a layer next to any stationary

cards. This flow profile of a

cylindrical elements and applying the viscous plate that is stationary.

fluid in a pipe shows that

force to them.[5]

the fluid acts in layers that

slide over one another.

Another example is the flow of air over an aircraft wing. The boundary layer is a very thin

sheet of air lying over the surface of the wing (and all other surfaces of the aircraft). Because

air has viscosity, this layer of air tends to adhere to the wing. As the wing moves forward through the air, the boundary layer at first

flows smoothly over the streamlined shape of the airfoil. Here, the flow is laminar and the boundary layer is a laminar layer. Prandtl

[6][7]

applied the concept of the laminar boundary layer to airfoils in 1904.

Laminar airflow is used to separate volumes of air, or prevent airborne contaminants

from entering an area. Laminar flow hoods are used to exclude contaminants from

sensitive processes in science, electronics and medicine. Air curtains are frequently

used in commercial settings to keep heated or refrigerated air from passing through

doorways. A laminar flow reactor (LFR) is a reactor that uses laminar flow to study

chemical reactions and process mechanisms.

See also

Play media

Chaos theory Experimental chamber for studying

Laminar flow reactor chemotaxis in response to laminar

Shell balance flow.

References

1. Batchelor, G. (2000). Introduction to Fluid Mechanics.

2. Geankoplis, Christie John (2003).Transport Processes and Separation ProcessPrinciples (http://www.pearsonhighe

red.com/educator/product/Transport-Processes-and-Separation-Process-Principles-Includes-Unit-Operations/97801

31013674.page). Prentice Hall Professional Technical Reference. ISBN 978-0-13-101367-4. Archived (https://web.ar

chive.org/web/20150501122109/http://www .pearsonhighered.com/educator/product/Transport-Processes-and-Separ

ation-Process-Principles-Includes-Unit-Operations/9780131013674.page) from the original on 2015-05-01.

3. Noakes, Cath; Sleigh, Andrew (January 2009)."Real Fluids" (https://web.archive.org/web/20101021003853/http://w

ww.efm.leeds.ac.uk/CIVE/CIVE1400/Section4/laminar_turbulent.htm). An Introduction to Fluid Mechanics. University

of Leeds. Archived fromthe original (http://www.efm.leeds.ac.uk/CIVE/CIVE1400/Section4/laminar_turbulent.htm)on

21 October 2010. Retrieved 23 November 2010.

4. Avila, K.; Moxey, D.; de Lozar, A.; Avila, M.; Barkley, D.; Hof, B. (July 2011)."The Onset of Turbulence in Pipe Flow"

(http://www.sciencemag.org/content/333/6039/192). Science. 333 (6039): 192–196. Bibcode:2011Sci...333..192A (ht

tp://adsabs.harvard.edu/abs/2011Sci...333..192A) . doi:10.1126/science.1203223(https://doi.org/10.1126/science.12

03223). Archived (https://web.archive.org/web/20110904003951/http://www .sciencemag.org/content/333/6039/192)

from the original on 2011-09-04.

5. Nave, R. (2005). "Laminar Flow" (http://hyperphysics.phy-astr.gsu.edu/hbase/pfric.html). HyperPhysics. Georgia

State University. Archived (https://web.archive.org/web/20110219090625/http://hyperphysics.phy-astr .gsu.edu/hbas

e/pfric.html) from the original on 19 February 2011. Retrieved 23 November 2010.

6. Anderson, J. D. (1997).A History of Aerodynamics and Its Impact on Flying Machines(https://books.google.com/boo

ks?isbn=0521669553). Cambridge University Press.ISBN 0-521-66955-3.

7. Rogers, D. F. (1992). Laminar flow analysis (https://books.google.com/books?isbn=0521411521)

. Cambridge

University Press. ISBN 0-521-41152-1.

External links

Laminar Flow on YouTube

Laminar flow in a pipe on YouTube

"

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