You are on page 1of 5

Lecture 22, March 1, 2004

• Matlab Tutorial Today (3:30-4:30) (4:30-5:30)

• Assignment 3 (will be posted today, due end of next
• Quiz 2 (covers material after quiz1 to the end of
this week)

• Average convection coefficient example
• Start of Blasius Solution for flow over a flat plate

Boundary Layer Example

Initially, the boundary layer on a flat plate will be laminar,

and will transition to turbulence at some critical Reynolds
number Rex,c. When the boundary layer becomes turbulent,
it will of course become unsteady, and heat and mass
transfer will be increased. Therefore we will consider the
time average turbulent quantities.

In reality this transition is not abrupt, but occurs over a

transition region. We must fix a value of either Rex,c, or of
xc in order to obtain a solution.

Let’s start be examining some velocity profiles in the

laminar portion of our plate, for air at 3 m/s. For these
conditions xc corresponds to 3m, and so we will have a
laminar boundary layer for the first 3m.
Clearly, the gradient of the velocity profile at the wall is
decreasing with distance along the plate, and we therefore
expect that the rate of heat transfer will decrease along the
plate as well. Clearly, the highest heat transfer coefficient
will exist at the leading edge of the plate.

The rest of this example is posted separately.

Blasius Solution for Laminar flow over a plat plate.

Beginning with our equation for conservation of mass (2D

Steady, constant properties),

And conservation of momentum in the x direction (with the

boundary layer assumptions) and with zero pressure
gradient as in the case of a flat plate

And, the boundary layer energy equation

In order to simplify these equations, we introduce the

stream function
Substituting these definitions into mass conservation,

We see that it is identically satisfied and we need not

consider mass conservation any further as long as we use
the stream function.

Next we want to simplify the momentum equation. We do

this by postulating that there is some scaling parameter that
will collapse all of the velocity profiles onto a single curve.
This is a similarity parameter, and hence the solution is
called a similarity solution. When we find this parameter,
our two dimensional problem will be reduced to a one
dimensional problem and will be much easier to solve.
This parameter has been found, and is in fact the way the
profiles develop (you can measure this).

Next, we want to define a non-dimensional stream function

using our similarity parameter.
All we need to do is evaluate all of the terms in the
momentum equation in terms of f and η, and then we will
have our simplified ordinary differential equation (one

Beginning with u,


And, more involved is v,

Finally, our three derivative terms,

We can now substitute all of these into the momentum
equation to get,

or, in simplified notation,