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39
Boundary Layers
Edwin R. Braun
University of North Carolina, 39.1 Theoretical Boundary Layers
Charlotte 39.2 Reynolds Similarity in Test Data
Pao-lien Wang 39.3 Friction in Pipes
University of North Carolina, 39.4 Noncircular Channel
Charlotte 39.5 Example Solutions

39.1 Theoretical Boundary Layers


In a simple model of a solid, material deformation is proportional to the strain. In a simple model of
a fluid, the deformation is proportional to the rate of strain or the change in velocity over a small
distance. The mathematical term describing this phenomenon is the last term in the following boundary
layer equation:

È du du du ˘ dp d Ê du ˆ
rÍ + u + v ˙ = - + Ám ˜ (39.1)
Î dt dx dy ˚ dx dy Ë dy ¯

where u is the velocity in the x direction as a function of x, y, and t. The values r and m are the density
and dynamic viscosity for the fluid, respectively. This equation is good for all situations with no pressure
(P) change present in the direction normal to the wall.
The left-hand side of Equation (39.1) represents time kinetic energy in flow. The pressure term is a
potential energy term. The rate of strain term that represents this energy dissipates through viscous losses.
When the dissipation term is significant compared to the others, a boundary layer must be considered
as part of the flow analysis.
For a straight-channel, steady (not time-dependent) flow, Equation (39.1) becomes

d 2u dp
m = (39.2)
dy 2 dx

which has the solution

1 dp 2
u=- (D - y 2 ) (39.3)
2m dx

where d is the distance toward the wall measured from the centerline and the velocity u is zero at the
walls. This velocity equation is parabola. Note that when y = D, Equation (39.3) becomes

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D 2 dp
u cL = - (39.4)
2m dx

Thus, if the pressure loss over a distance X is measured along with the centerline velocity (ucL), the
viscosity can be determined. Similarly, if the velocity is known at the centerline, the pressure loss per
unit length can be calculated.

39.2 Reynolds Similarity in Test Data


As a boundary layer develops, it starts in a smooth, or laminar, state. Downstream, it transforms into a
turbulent state, where the flow is irregular and contains eddies. Various physical conditions, such as wall
or surface roughness or upstream turbulence, will affect the speed of this transition. In smooth-walled
pipes, laminar flow occurs for Reynolds numbers (Re) of less than 2000, with fully developed turbulence
for Re greater than 4000. The Reynolds number is a dimensionless number developed from dynamic
similarity principles that represents the ratio of the magnitudes of the inertia forces to the friction forces
in the fluid.

inertia force
Re =
friction force

where inertia force = rVc2 L2c and friction force = mVc L2c . Then,

rVc L c Vc L c
Re = = (39.5)
m n

where Vc and Lc are characteristic or representative velocities and lengths, respectively. For a pipe or
similar narrow channel, Lc is the internal diameter (ID) of the pipe and Vc is the average or bulk velocity
obtained by dividing the mass flow rate (M) by the cross-sectional area and density of the fluid:

M
Vc = (39.6)
rA

Using the Reynolds number as a similarity parameter, test data can be correlated into generalized
charts for frictional losses.
For the flat plate (Figure 39.1) case, Vc is taken as the free stream velocity outside the boundary layer,
and Lc is the length measured along the wall standing from the leading edge.

39.3 Friction in Pipes


The energy equation for steady flow between any two points in a pipe can be written as

V22 - V12 P2 - P1
+ + Z 2 - Z1 - h f = 0 (39.7)
2g rg

where hf is a head loss due to friction. This equation neglects other minor losses (such as elbows, valves,
exit and entrance losses, and bends). It is useful to define the head loss in terms of a friction factor ( f )
such that this nondimensional friction factor ( f ), known as the Darcy friction factor, can be determined
experimentally as a function of the dimensionless Reynolds numbers and a relative roughness parameter
e/D, as shown in Figure 39.2. Rough factors, e, are given in Table 39.1.

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Boundary Layers 39-3

Undisturbed flow Vc
Vc

Boundary layer y

Lc
(a)

Vc

Vc
Vc

u Flat plate

Laminar Transition Turbulent


boundary region boundary
layer layer
(b)

FIGURE 39.1 (a) Boundary layer along a smooth plane. (b) Laminar and turbulent boundary layers along a smooth,
flat plate. (Vertical scales greatly enlarged.)

0.1
0.09 Laminar Critical Transition
Flow Zone Zone Complete Turbulence, Rough Pipes
0.08
0.05
0.07
0.04
Lam

0.06
0.03
inar
Flow f

0.05 0.02
0.015
D 2 )

= R

0.04
L ( ρV 2

64

0.01
∆P

0.008
e

D
Relative Roughness, k

Recr 0.006
Friction Factor, f =

0.03
0.004

0.025
0.002

0.02 0.001
Material K, ft 0.0008
0.0006
Riveted Steel 0.003–0.03
Concrete 0.001–0.01 Sm 0.0004
0.015 oo
Wood Stave 0.0006–0.003 th
Pi 0.0002
Cast Iron 0.00085 pe
s
Galvanized Iron 0.0005
0.0001
Asphalted Cast Iron 0.0004
Commercial Steel or 0.000,05
0.01 Wrought Iron 0.00015
Drawn Tubing 0.000005
0.009
0.000,01
0.008
103 2(103) 3 4 5 6 7 8 9104 2(104) 3 4 5 6 78 9105 2(105) 3 4 5 6 7 8 9106 2(106) 3 4 5 6 7 8 9107 2(107) 3 4 5 6 7 8 9108
0.000,005
VDρ VD V(4Rh ) 0.000,001
Reynolds Number, ReD =
µ = ν = ν

FIGURE 39.2 Friction factors for commercial pipe. (Source: Moody, L. F. 1944. Friction factors for pipe flow. Trans.
ASME. 66:672. With permission.)

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39-4 The Engineering Handbook, Second Edition

TABLE 39.1 Roughness


Surface e, ft e, m

Glass, plastic Smooth Smooth


Drawn tubing 5 ◊ 10-6 1.5 ◊ 10-6
Commercial steel, wrought iron 1.5 ◊ 10-4 4.6 ◊ 10-5
or aluminum sheet
Galvanized iron 5 ◊ 10-4 1.2 ◊ 10-4
Cast iron 8.5 ◊ 10-4 2.4 ◊ 10-4
Concrete pipe 4 ◊ 10-3 1.2 ◊ 10-3
Riveted steel pipe .01 .003
Wood .001 .0003

There are two equations that describe the data shown in Figure 39.2. The first is the laminar line. For
laminar flow in pipes with Re less than 2000, it can be shown through analysis that

64
f = (39.8)
Re

The second is the Colebrook equation [Colebrook, 1938]:

1 È e /D 2.51 ˘
= -2 log 10 Í + ˙ (39.9)
f ÍÎ 3.7 Re f ˙˚

which describes the turbulent region. Note that, as the roughness e approaches zero, we obtain the smooth
pipeline and the equation becomes

1 È Re f ˘
= 2 log 10 Í ˙ (39.10)
f ÍÎ 2.51 ˙˚

For fully developed turbulence, the Re approaches zero and the Colebrook equation simplifies to

1 È 3.7 ˘
= 2 log 10 Í ˙ (39.11)
f Î e /D ˚

For turbulent flows in closed conduits with noncircular cross-sections, a modified form of Darcy’s
equation may be used to evaluate the friction loss:

Ê L ˆ Ê v2 ˆ
hf = f Á ˜ Á ˜
Ë D ¯ Ë 2g ¯

where D is the diameter of the circular conduit.

39.4 Noncircular Channel


In the case of noncircular cross-sections, a new term, R, is introduced to replace diameter D. R is defined
as hydraulic radius, which is the ratio of the cross-sectional area to the wetted perimeter (WP) of the
noncircular flow section.

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Boundary Layers 39-5

A
R=
WP

For a circular pipe of diameter D the hydraulic radius R is

A pD 2 / 4 D
R= = =
WP pD 4

or D = 4R. Substitution of 4R for D in Darcy’s equation yields

Ê L ˆ Ê v2 ˆ
hf = Á ˜ Á ˜
Ë 4R ¯ Ë 2g ¯

The Reynolds number can be modified as

v(4R)r v(4R)
Re = or Re =
m n

39.5 Example Solutions

Example 39.1
Refer to Figure 39.3. Water at 50∞C is flowing at a rate of 0.07 m3/sec. The pipeline is steel and
has an inside diameter of 0.19 m. The length of the pipeline is 900 m. Assume the kinematic
viscosity (n) is 5.48 ◊ 10-7 m2/sec. Find the power input to the pump if its efficiency is 82%; neglect
minor losses.
Given information is as follows:

Q = 0.07 m3 ; L = 900 m; T = 50∞C

DZ = 15 m; n = 5.48 ◊10 -7 m2 / s; D = 0.2 m

g at 50∞C = 9.69 kN / m3

Find power input to pump.

15 m

1
m
0
60
Pump

300 m

FIGURE 39.3 Pipeline in Example 39.1.

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39-6 The Engineering Handbook, Second Edition

Solution
First, determine the Reynolds number:

vD Q
Re = ; v=
n A
4Q 4(0.07)
Re = =
pDn p(0.2)(5.48 ◊10 -7 )

= 8.13 ◊105

Second, determine e/D ratio and friction factor f. Roughness (e) for steel pipe = 4.6 ◊ 10-5 m.

e 4.6 ◊10 -5 m
= = 0.000242
D 0.19 m

From Moody’s diagram with values of NR and e/D, f = 0.0151.


Next, determine head loss due to friction:

Ê L ˆ Ê v2 ˆ Q
h f = 0.0151Á ˜ Á ˜ , v=
Ë D ¯ Ë 2g ¯ A

8LQ 2
h f = 0.0151
p 2 gD5

8(900)(0.07)2
= 0.0151
p 2 (9.81)(0.02)5
35.28
= 0.0151 = 17.2 m
0.031

Finally, determine power input into pump:

Ê kN ˆ Ê m3 ˆ
PA = h A gQ = 17.2Á 9.69 3 ˜ Á 0.07 ˜
Ë m ¯Ë s ¯

kN ◊ m
= 11.67 = 11.67 kW
s
PA
ep =
P1

e p = Pump efficiency

PA = Power delivered to fluid

PI = Power input into pump

PA 11.67 kW
PI = = = 14.23 kW
ep 0.82

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Boundary Layers 39-7

50 mm
25 mm Dia.

50 mm

FIGURE 39.4 Duct in Example 39.2.

TABLE 39.2 Dynamic Viscosity of Liquids (m) (mPa ◊ sec)


Liquid -25∞∞C 0∞∞C 25∞∞C 50∞∞C 75∞∞C 100∞∞C
Water 1.793 0.890 0.547 0.378
Mercury 1.526 1.402 1.312
Methanol 1.258 0.793 0.544
Isobutyl acetate 0.676 0.493 0.370 0.286
Toluene 1.165 0.778 0.560 0.424 0.333 0.270
Styrene 1.050 0.695 0.507 0.390 0.310
Acetic acid 1.056 0.786 0.599 0.464
Ethanol 3.262 1.786 1.074 0.694 0.476
Ethylene glycol 16.1 6.554 3.340 1.975

Example 39.2
Air with a specific weight of 12.5 N/m3 and dynamic viscosity of 2.0 ◊ 10-5 N ◊ sec/m2 flows through
the shaded portion of the duct shown in Figure 39.4 at the rate of 0.04 m3/sec. (See Table 39.2 or
Figure 39.5 for dynamic viscosities of some common liquids.) Calculate the Reynolds number of
the flow, given that g = 12.5 N/m3, m = 2.0 ◊ 10-5 N ◊ sec/m2, Q = 0.04 m3/sec, and L = 30 m.

Solution

12.5 N / m3
r = g /g = = 1.27 N ◊ s 2 /m4 or kg / m3
9.81 m / s 2

p
A(shaded) = (0.05 m)2 - (0.025 m)2
4
= 0.0025 m2 - 0.00049 m2

= 0.002 m2

Wet parameter (WP)= 4(0.05 m) + p(0.025 m)

= 0.2 m + 0.0785 m

= 0.279 m

A
Hydraulic radius (R) =
WP
0.002 m2
=
0.279 m
= 0.00717 m

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39-8 The Engineering Handbook, Second Edition

0.5
0.4
0.3

Ca
Gl
0.2

yc

sto
eri

ro
n

il
0.1

SA
SA
0.06

E
E

10
30
oi

oil
0.04 l
0.03
0.02

0.01

6 Crud
e oil
Absolute viscosity µ, (N.s)/m2

An (SG
4 0.86
ilin )
3 e
Ke
ro sin
2 e
Car Mercury
bon Eth
tetr yl a
1 × 10−3 ach lco
lorid hol
e
6
4 Benz
ene
3 Gaso Wa
line ( te
SG 0 r
2 .68)

1 × 10−4

6
4 Air
3
Helium
2
ide
Carbon diox
1 × 10−5
Hydrogen
5
−20 0 20 40 60 80 100 120
Temperature, °C

FIGURE 39.5 Absolute viscosity of common fluids at 1 atm. (Source: White, F. 1986. Fluid Mechanics, 2nd ed.
McGraw-Hill, New York. With permission.)

Q 0.04 m3 / s
v= = = 20 m / s
A 0.002 m2
4Rvr
Reynolds number (Re)=
m

4(0.00717 m)(20 m / s)(1.27 N ◊ s / m4 )


NR =
2.0 ◊10 -5 N ◊ s / m2
= 3.64 ◊10 4

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Boundary Layers 39-9

References
Colebrook, C. F. 1938. Turbulent flow in pipes with particular reference to the transition points between
smooth and rough laws. ICF Journal. 2:133–156.
Moody, L. F. 1944. Friction factors for pipe flow. Trans. ASME. 66:672.
White, F. 1986. Fluid Mechanics, 2nd ed. McGraw-Hill, New York.

© 2005 by CRC Press LLC