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Differential Equations of Fluid Dynamics

A short note on their derivation

D. Olivari

July 2012

Differential Equations of Fluid Dynamics


A summary for the VKI DEFM Lectures 1999/2000 D. Olivari

1. The Continuum.

We will call a continuum any medium into which all physical, chemical and other variables1 A(x,t) which define its properties are described by functions which have no discontinuities and which have continuous derivatives up to any degree with respect to space or time. If the medium allows for internal motion, i.e. a displacement of one point with respect to the others in a continuous way, we call it a Fluid, and the corresponding motion a Flow. Inside such a medium the quantities which define its properties can be transported, depending on the nature of the medium, in essentially three ways:
Advection, transport by movement, Diffusion, transport by molecular effects, Radiation.

It is possible that two or more such media of different properties share a common boundary. At the frontier between the two there may be discontinuities in some or all of the properties defining them: if such is the case we define the ensemble of the media as multiphase. We will now try to write the relevant equations for the transport of properties in a fluid.

2. The generalised Transport Equation.


The motion of a fluid can be described from two standpoints, or reference frames, respectively called:
Eulerian, Lagrangian.

In the first case the motion is seen from an external fixed frame2, and the properties of all quantities are described with respect to it. In the second one the observer is sitting on a particle in the flow and moves with it: the description is then made with reference to this changing position. The differences are relevant it is not always easy to pass from one description to the other. Each one has special advantages for specific applications and the choice is made in function of this. In this introduction we will use only the Eulerian approach. The generalised equation for the variation in time and the transport and of the quantity A in a medium in motion with a vectorial velocity of components Ui (i =1..3), can be then written as:

DAi ^ ij = ASi Dt ^ xj
1 2

(1

Vectorial quantities will be indicated in the text by bold characters. We will see later that all the equation are invariant for a galileian transformation, and the term fixed frame is used in this context.

where the meaning of each term is respectively:

1. The substantial derivative of the i-component of A which, for flow in motion with velocity U, can be expanded as

DA ^ A ^ A ^ x j ^ A ^ A = A = A U Dt ^ t ^ x j ^ t ^t ^ xj j

(2,

2.A term representing the diffusion, or the molecular interaction in the fluid, 3.A source term, representing the action of the environment on the fluid and the flow fields.

It is important to remark that the term: (3

^ ij ^xj
is the divergence of the i-compnent of ij . If the flow is limited in space, far away from its limits it is equal to zero. This means that it is not sensitive to effects from outside, and only represents a redistribution of A inside the flow by diffusive action across and along the surfaces and its effects are limited to the i-direction.. We will define these terms as short range effects or surface actions, as opposed to the source terms S which are long range effects or volume actions. Substituting for A , and S the relevant quantities, we can now obtain all the equations required, namely the equations for:
O Conservation of Mass, O Conservation of Momentum, O Conservation of Energy, O Conservation of Species, or of Concentration, O Conservation of any other relevant quantity.

3. The transport equation for a fluid.


We will now briefly derive the equations relevant for a fluid flow field.

3.1.Mass Conservation.
For the Mass Flow the quantity transported is just the density times the elementary reference volume V, there is no diffusion, and if there is no source term, we have:

Ai =V

=0

S =0

(4

and the mass-transport, or continuity, equation becomes:

D V =0 Dt ^U i D D DV V A =V A dxdydz = 0 ^ xi Dt Dt Dt ^U i ^ ^ AU j A =0 ^t ^ xj ^xj

(5

If a fluid is incompressible (we will see later under what conditions a fluid can be considered as incompressible), then = const. , and the continuity equation simplifies to a purely kinematic relation:

^U i =0 ^ xj

(6

i.e. the divergence of the flow is equal to zero. This can be seen as an external constraint imposed on the dynamic of the flow.

3.2.Momentum Conservation.
For the Momentum Equation we have:

Ai =U i ij = ij = normal A shear stresses S i = gi


and it results:

(7

D U i ^ ij = A gi ^ xj Dt ^ U i ^ U i ^ ij AU j = A gi ^t ^ xj ^ xj

(8

The stress tensor ji must now be determined taking into account the fact that our medium is a fluid. The determination of the structure of this term, derived from the mechanics of solid media, is due, in its present form, to Navier and Stokes.

3.2.1.A formulation for ij .


For a continuum material it is generally assumed that the stresses are in some way function of the deformations. For a solid it is assumed that there is a direct relations between the stresses and the amount of deformation imposed:

ij Z

^Xi ^ xj

(9

where Xi is the deformation of the material at point xi . In a fluid, gas or liquid in normal conditions, the assumption, confirmed by experience, is that the stresses are instead related to the velocity at which deformation takes place, so:

ij Z

^ ^Xi ^ xj ^t ^U i ^ xj

(10

In other worlds, the stress tensor is related to the strain rate in the flow.

ij Z

(11

The strain rate itself can now be divided into a symmetric and an antisymmetric part as follows:

^U i 1 ^U i ^U j 1 ^U i ^U j = A A B 2 ^ x j ^ xi ^ x j 2 ^ x j ^ xi

(12

The represents the pure deformation of the fluid, while the antisymmetric part represents the solid body rotation, to which there is no associated deformation, of the fluid. It follows that the next step is to assume that only the symmetric part (pure deformation) contributes to the generation of stresses in the fluid.

1 ^U i ^U j 1 ij Z A Z eij 2 ^ x j ^ xi 2

(13

Now a distinction should be made between the normal and the shear stresses.

3.2.2.The pressure term.


The pressure or the normal stresses contribution is assumed to be identically equal to the sum of the diagonal terms of the tensor ji , or to its contraction:

p = ij ij
The pressure term, or its contribution, is then, by definition, a scalar quantity.

(14

3.2.3.The Shear Term.


The shear term can now be rewritten as:

ij = d ij B p ij

(15

The term d ,which by definition should have a zero sum diagonal is called the deviatoric stress tensor.

In a Newtonian fluid we assume that d is linearly related to the deformation tensor e and that the fluid properties are isotropic. So we can write:

d ij =ijmn e mn

(16

where ijmn is the tensor representing the isotropic properties of the fluid. The expression for this tensor is the contribution of Navier3 and Stokes4 to the description of fluid properties. Using the properties of tensors it can be shown that the only possible isotropic relation between d and e is:

d ij =2Aeij A B ij e kk
where A and B are bulk scalar fluid properties.

(17

The physical meaning of A is the well known fluid viscosity , while B, which plays a role only in compressible fluids, is variously defined as second viscosity, bulk viscosity,... and is associated to isotropic volumetric variation of a fluid element. So:

d ij =2eij A B ij e kk

(18

From the considerations made in 3.2.2, we must assume that the contraction of d, or the sum of its diagonal terms, should be equal to zero.

ii

=2eii A3Beii =0

(19

It is then immediately derived that:

2 B =B 3
And, finally we obtain for the stresses in a Newtonian fluid the relation:

(20

ij =

^U i ^U j 2 ^U i A B B p ij ^ x j ^ xi 3 ^ xi

(21

3.2.4.The Final Formulation.


Substituting all the terms derived in the original equation we obtain the usual form of the Momentum equation as:

^U i ^U i ^p ^ AU j =B A ^t ^ xj ^ xi ^ x j

^U i ^U j 2 ^U i A B ^ x j ^ xi 3 ^ xi

A gi

(22

It should be noted that for an incompressible flow the terms associated with B disappears because the divergence of the velocity is equal to zero.

3 4

Claude Luis Marie Henri Navier (1785-1836) was a french engineer known for the works on mechanics. Sir George Stokes (1819-1903) was a irish physicist who worked on hydrodynamics and fluorescence.

3.3.Energy Conservation.
For the Energy Equation we have:
2 1 Ai = U Ae 2 ij = ij U i A qi = work done by mechanical stressesA heat transfer S i = gi U i

(23

where:
2 1 U = kinetic mechanical , energy 2 e=internal thermal energy.

(24

So we can write:

U U ^ Ae ^ Ae ^q ^ 2 DE 2 = AU j = ij U i B i A g i U i ^t ^ xj ^ xi Dt ^ xj

(25

3.3.1.The Fourier law.


The relation used for the heat transfer between adjacent layers of fluid is the classical Fourier5 law, as for the solids:

q i =Bk

^T ^ xi

(26

k being a scalar bulk property of the fluid, the thermal conductivity.

3.3.2.The mechanical work.


This work is the scalar product of the total surface stresses times the local fluid velocity and can be expressed, per unit surface, as:

work = ij U i =
j j

^U i ^U j 2 ^U i A B B p ij U i ^ x j ^ xi 3 ^ xi

(27

[For simplicity from now on we will neglect the bulk viscosity term]. We can now write the complete expression.

Jean Baptiste Joseph de Fourier (1768-1830) is the originator of the Fourier series.

3.3.3.The final formulation.


The usual formulation for the Total Energy equation is then:

U U Ae ^ Ae ^U i 2 2 AU j = ^t ^ xj

^U i ^U j A B p ij ^ x j ^ xi ^xj

^T Ak A gi U i ^ xi ^ xi
(28

However the total energy energy equation is of relatively little interest since the mechanical component is practically known from the momentum equation. Of more interest, for its practical aspects and for a physical insight is the Internal Energy equation.

3.3.4.The Internal Energy Equation.


The Internal Energy equation can be easily derived from the equation above by subtracting the equation for the mechanical energy obtained from the momentum conservation.
2 2 ^U i ^U j U U ^ A B p ij ^ ^ ^ x j ^ xi 2 2 AU j =U i A g i U i ^t ^ xj ^ xj

(29

Subtracting (22) from (21) we obtain the required result.

^e ^e AU j = ^t ^ xj e= CvT

^U i ^ U j A ^ x j ^ xi

B p ij

^U i ^T Ak ^ xj ^ xi ^ xi

(30

This is the equation for the Internal Energy Transport. It should be noted that it contains a mechanical term (albeit in a different form than in the Total Energy equation) which represents the dissipation of Mechanical Energy into Thermal Energy. We will show now that this terms leads to irreversibility of the viscous flow motion.

3.3.5.The Role of the Stress Term.


The viscosity dependent component of the stress contribution can be rewritten using the permutation of indexes allowed in tensorial notation, as:

(31

^U i ^U j 1 }= A 2 ^ x j ^ xi

^U i ^U j A ^ x j ^ xi

^U i 1 ^U i ^U j = A ^ xj 2 ^ x j ^ xi

^U i 1 ^U j ^U i A A ^xj 2 ^ xi ^ x j

^U j ^ xi

Since the last term is the square of the deformation tensor, it is always positive, and it shows that the role of viscosity in the energy equation is always to dissipate kinetic energy into heat in a irreversible way. The pressure dependent term, on the other hand, can be rewritten, using the continuity equation, as:

B p ij

^U i ^U i 1 ^ ^ =B p = p AU i ^t ^ xi ^ xi ^ xi i

(32

This is a reversible contribution to the internal energy due to the elastic work produced by compression in compressible flows.

3.3.6.The equation for Entropy.


An important thermodynamic quantity to define the state of a system is the Entropy. The energy equation can be rewritten in terms of Entropy S considering that:

1 C dQ =C v ln T S = dt
and:

R
v

Aconst.

(33

^ S C v ^T R ^ = B ^t T ^t ^t

(34

After substitutions in (27) and (23) and a few manipulation, we obtain for the entropy:

^S ^S U i ^ A A ^t ^ xi ^ xi


k ^T T ^ xi

^U i k = ij A T ^ xj T2


^T ^ xi

(35

For the same reasons seen before, the last two terms are always positive, so they always lead to an increase in entropy. This is always the case for any closed system, so the above statement is just the application of the second principle of thermodynamics to the fluid motion. For a perfect fluid:

=0
and:

k =0

10

DS =0 Dt

(36

Inviscid, non-conductive, incompressible flows are isoentropic, S=const. This is the case, in particular, for the flows described by the Euler equation.

3.4.The Scalar Transport Equation.


The equation for the Conservation of Passive Species, or the equations for the Transport of a Passive Scalar, i.e. a scalar that do not react or interact with the surroundings can be derived by replacing the scalar with its Concentration C. In the case where the mixing fluids are of the same nature, liquids or gases without free interfaces, we have:

Ai =C ij = K i = molecular Diffusion S =Q = Sources of the variousComponents


In analogy with the Fourier law, we can write for the diffusion the Fick Law, as:

(37

Ki = k

^C ^ xi

k = molecular Diffusivity, Fluid dependent.

(38

The relevant transport equation can then be written as:

DC ^ K i = AQ Dt ^ xi ^C ^C ^C AU j =k AQ ^t ^ xj ^ xj^ xj
2

(39

This formulation is adequate for many practical application in incompressible flows.

3.5.The Initial and Boundary Condition.


No time-dependent partial derivative set of differential equations can be solved without specifying adequate initial and boundary conditions. The number and type of these conditions depends on the order and nature of the equation: these conditions are not obvious for non-linear equations and cannot be specified with absolute mathematical rigour. Our Fluid Dynamic system of equations is a rather high order partial differential system of equation of the evolutive6 type. Its order cannot be clearly defined, but is assumed to be 9. However there is no way of defining them from completely justified physical arguments and there is no proof, at the moment, that the solution obtained is unique and correct, but all the experience we have at the moment tend to justify it. Assuming that the flow conditions are such that the dimensions of the smallest solid body in the flow field are much larger than the man free path of the fluid molecules, we may say that:

This means that the time derivatives of all the unknown are expressed explicitly. This is true for the compressible flow case.

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O The initial conditions require that at initial time the values of all the variable should be known in the entire flow field. O The conditions at solid boundaries are more complex, and can be defined at the surface of an impermeable fixed walls as:

The normal component of the velocity should be equal to zero. The tangential component of the velocity is assumed to be equal to zero, the so-called non-slip condition.

O At the surface the normal component of the heat flux into the fluid is equal to the heat flux from the wall, or that the wall and fluid temperatures are equal.

U t = 0 = known for all x U n = 0


wall

T t = 0 = known for all x


. (40

U
t

wall

=0 = q wall else
wall


^T ^n

U
fluid

wall

=T wall

4. The non-dimensional Formulation of a Problem.


In the set of equations derived before we can identify four basic physical dimension:

a Length L, a Time t, a Mass M, a Temperature T.

Each other quantity which appears in the equations has dimensions which are products of these fundamental one, such as:

the Velocity, U=L/t, the Pressure, p=M/Ltt, ...

Once the basic physical quantities are selected and an appropriate, consistent, system of units chosen, each variable and coefficient in the equation can be quantified by a dimensionless number, which can always be transformed back into a physically measurable value. These dimensionless numbers and the solution of the equations containing them are independent of the system of units chosen and so, in a certain sense, universal. Rewriting the basic equations in non-dimensional form has then not only a number of advantages, but it is also a way the identify the dimensionless parameter, or similarity numbers, that play an important role in any specific problem to be analysed and solved. Then, considering the key points about the structure of dimensionless form, we can make a few important statements. the solution of the equations in

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Non-dimensionalizing and scaling an equation and specifying the:


Initial and Boundary conditions in dimensionless form, The Values of the dimensionless parameters and coefficients,

and solving them we have that:

For any set of the physical reference quantities (length, time,...) and fluid specific parameter (density, viscosity,...) that are consistent with the chosen values of the dimensionless coefficients, the flow fields obtained by reversing the scaling, i.e. making the result dimensional, are valid solutions of the original unscaled equations.

Then: each set of dimensionless parameters defines a family of equivalent solutions, which only differs by a scale factor. This is the basis for similarity analysis, for numerical and experimental modelling and order of magnitude evaluations. Furthermore, close inspection of the dimensionless equations reveals that:

The contribution of some terms can be neglected as function of the relative value of the dimensionless parameters, Singularities may arise when one or more of these parameters approach zero or infinity, making the eventual solution impossible or meaningless.

4.1.The Dimensionless Formulation of the Fluid Mechanic Equations.


Following the concept of the previous section, indicating for simplicity with a ' the dimensional quantities (x', t', ...) and introducing some reference values as:

l ref , ref , U ref, p ref, t ref, T ref, ... wecan write x' ' U' t' T' x= , , , t= , T= ... l ref ref U ref t ref T ref,
and substitute to transform the equations as:

(41

for Continuity:

l ref ^ ^ U i 1 ^ ' ^ 'U' i A =0 } A =0 t ref U ref ^ t ^ xi St ^ t' ^ x' i

(42

For Momentum:

l ref ^U'i ^U'i p ref AU' j =B t ref U ref ^ t' ^ x' j ' U
ref

2 ref

^ 'ij ^p A ^ x i ref U ref l ref ^ x' j

(43

And finally for the Momentum Equation:

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^U' i ^ U' i ^ p' 1 ^ 'ij 1 ' A 'U' j = B Be A ^ x'i Rey ^ x' j St ^ t' ^ x' j

(44

For the Internal Energy equation, with the equation of state and using a similar approach :

p = RT

with

M=

U a= RT a

(45

^ e' A p' 1 ^ e' 1 ' A 'U' j = ^ x' j St ^ t' Rey

^ U'i 2 1 ^ T' M 'ij A ^ x' j Pr ^ x'i ^ x'i

(46

4.1.1.The Dimensionless Parameters.

The coefficients which we have introduced are the Dimensionless Parameter that characterise the universal solutions of our equations. They are:

Sr M Rey Pr Be

Strouhal Number Mach Number Reynolds Number Prandtl Number Bernoulli Number

tU/L, U/c, UL/=UL/, Cp/k. p/U^2

Add we also considered mass diffusivity (D), chemical reaction rate () , heat transfer, ..., we will have found, for the relevant equations other parameters, such as: /D, L/U, ...., ....,

Sc Da Pe Nu ...

Schmidt Number Damkohler Number Peclet Number Nusselt Number

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4.1.2.The Incompressible Formulation.


The effect of Mach Number in the momentum equations is worth some consideration: if the fluid is considered as incompressible, then M=0, and a certain formulation of the Momentum equation contains a singularity7. This is no a real problem since all fluids are compressible, but, written in this way the equation is difficult to solve, especially numerically, because of the large difference in value between the terms. So we may consider a simplification for the incompressible flow as a limiting case in the following manner. If the flow is incompressible, then = cnst., and

the Continuity equation simplify to:

^ U i = 0 } divergence U = 0 ^ xi
even if the flow is unsteady.

(47

Thus in the whole set of equation there is a divergence constraint which destroys the velocitydensity interaction, and it is no more possible to write the full set of equation in the Conservative form.

For the Momentum equation, the equation of state remains valid, but we must write:

p = RT


^p ^

='

c= speed of sound ='

(48

in the formulation8:

^ U i ^ 1 ^p 1 ^ ij A U i U j A 2 A Rey ^ x j ^t ^ xj M ^ xi

(49

a singularity appears for M = 0 and unless we want to derive a complex limit formulation we must come back to the less sophisticated formulation of eq. 43:

^U i 1 ^U i 1 1 ^ p 1 ^ ij AU j =B A St ^ t ^ xj Be ^ x i Rey ^ x j

(50

The Internal Energy equation is modified even more drastically, considering eq. 25, (here M=0 do not lead to singularities) and reduces to:

7 8

See Klein R., Numerics in Combustion, VKI LS "Introduction to Turbulent Combustion", 1999. Ibidem.

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^e 1 ^e 1 ^T A U j = ^ x j Pe ^ x i ^ x i St ^ t

(51

i.e., a purely thermal relation. No fluid, and especially no gas, is perfectly incompressible, so we may look, using the previous assumptions, to the limits under which it can be considered as incompressible. Using again the equation of state:
2 ^ U p 1 = RT } = but pZU } Z RT ^p RT 2 2 Bref U 1 = Z 2 = 2 Z 1B M if M V 1 ref M c

(52

The usual limit to treat the flow as incompressible is considered to be M<0.1-0.2. A note should be made for unsteady flows: If M<<1 the advection term in the momentum equation can be neglected in comparison to the pressure and shear term. If the viscosity is also negligible, Re>> 1, and we are left with a balance of the unsteady velocity and pressure term (remember that in this equation they are dimensionless):

^p 1 ^U i 1 =B 2 St ^ t M ^ xi

(53

and the relevant similarity parameter becomes:


2 2

St tUc tc 2= 2= LU UL M

(54

When this is the case, we are in the so called domain of Acoustics. The two relation above show that, we may obtain large pressure fluctuations with small velocities, only with small characteristic dimensions and very short characteristic times (high frequencies), a well known problem for organ makers and loudspeaker manufacturers.

5. The Euler Equations.


The Euler Equation, although they were derived well before9, can now be seen as a subset of the N.S. Equations. They are valid, and describe the behaviour of a perfect fluid, that a fluid which is:
inviscid non-conductive

= 0, and k = 0.

We may obtain them by substituting these condition in the full N.S. Equation as follows:
9 Euler (1707-1783) derived them around the middle of that century.

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^U i ^ ^ AU j A = 0 Continuity. ^t ^ xj ^xj ^U i ^U i ^p A U j =B A g i Momentum. ^ xi ^ xj ^t ^U i ^e ^e A U j =B p Internal Energy. e= C v T ^ xj ^t ^ xj ^S ^SU i A = 0 Entropy Equation. ^t ^ xi ^U i ^U i ^h =B BU j Enthalpy Equation. ^ h = C p ^T ^ xi ^t ^ xj p = RT Equation of Status.

(55

It should be noted that the Euler Equation, and their solutions, are not at all equivalent to the equation which can be obtained by letting and k go to zero in the Navier Stokes Equations: they do not contain second order derivatives and have a totally different mathematical nature. Also, due to the lower order, one boundary condition has to be relaxed: the no-slip condition at the wall. The value of the tangential component of the wall velocity is also part of the solution. The Euler equation can be considered as a reasonable approximation for the flow field far away from solid walls along which the action of the vorticity is concentrated because of the large local velocity gradients existing there.

5.1.The Vorticity Equation.


From the Euler equations can be easily derived an equation for the Vorticity in an ideal fluid. Recalling that:

= rot U ^U i 2 grad U =2 U D rot U AU j ^ xj

(56

substituting in the Enthalpy equation and taking the rot( ) of the result we have the Vorticity Equation:

^U B rot U D rot U = 0 ^t ^ i ^ i ^U i AU j =j ^t ^ xj ^ xj rot

(57

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The interest of this equation is that the pressure term has disappeared, but a new term appears, the velocity-vorticity interaction, or vortex stretching term10, on the right side of eq. 56.

5.2.The Bernoulli Equation.


From the Euler equation it is easy to derive the famous Bernoulli Equation in its generalised form11. If the fluid flow is irrotational that is rot(U) = 0 everywhere, then it exits a scalar function , called the velocity potential such that:

U i x,y,z =

^ x,y,z ^ xi

(58

Then, from the Momentum equation in (54) we can derive:

^ ^ xi

^ 1 ^ A ^t 2 ^ xi


^ ^ xk
and:

=B

1^p Ag ^ xi

(59

If the body forces are also conservative , that can be expressed by a potential which for the gravity forces is = gz, then, expressing the pressure term as a function of the internal energy e, we have:

p =

p Ae

^ ^ xk
2

^ 1 A ^t 2

p A e A gz = const.

(60

which is the generalised Bernoulli equation, that broadly states that the total energy of the flow remains constant for an ideal, irrotational fluid. The first term accounts for the time dependence of the flow and implies that the situation for:
an accelerating body in fluid at rest a body at rest in accelerating flow.

For a Steady, Incompressible Flow we have the well known relation:

1 p A gz = const. 2A 2U

(61

5.2.1.The equation for the Potential.


Continuing along the previous considerations it is possible to derive the generalised equation for the potential in an ideal, irrotational flow as:
10 For more details see: Olivari, VKI CN 155. 11 Daniel Bernoulli (1700-1782) is a swiss mathematician and physicist and first derived this principle.

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2 ^ ^ ^ ^ A B a ik 2 A2 ^ xi ^ t ^ xi ^ xi ^ x k ^t a = RT = speed of sound.

^ =0 ^ xi ^ xk

(62

This equation is interesting because, in spite of the flow being compressible, it does not contain explicitly the pressure nor the density. They can be derived, as function of velocity an temperature, from the Bernoulli equation. For a steady flow they simplify to:

2 ^ ^ B a ik ^ xi ^ x k

^ =0 ^ xi ^ x k

(63

The solution is relatively simple and many analytical solutions have been found. However a word of caution should be said, because depending on the value of the velocity they change of nature: they are elliptical for U < a and hyperbolic for U >a, and require a different approach for the solution in the two cases. The main problem is that there are flows which are elliptic in some part of the field and hyperbolic in others without well defined boundaries, such as the accelerating-decelerating flow on a wing at transonic velocity. It should also be noted that the steady potential flow is the object of the d'Alambert12 paradox, which states that bodies immersed in such a flow do not experience any aerodynamic force.

6. The Boundary Layer Simplification.


As well as the Euler simplification applies far from solid walls, another simplification can be applied for the N.S. Equations close to them, because there the flow field is essentially aligned along a dominant direction. If in a 2-dimensional incompressible flow, say, Ux is the dominant velocity because the flow is along a flat plate, then, at least near the plate, Uy << Ux and we can make an order of magnitude analysis of the different terms of the equations to derive a simplified form. From continuity:

^U ^V A =0 ^x ^y

(64

so if U >>V , then the region y over which V velocity gradients exist is much smaller than the region x for similar U gradients. How much smaller it is can be derived by the momentum equation. Considering the x-component:

^U ^p ^ ^U ^V ^U AV =B A A ^x ^y ^x ^y ^y ^x

(65

and neglecting the pressure gradient, which is correct for a flat plate:
12 The French mathematician d'Alembert (1717-1783) discovered this around 1750.

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^U ^V W ^y ^x ^U ^U U Z 2 ^x ^y
2

^U ^U ZV ^x ^y U y Z 2 } = x x y xU } y = x 1 Reynolds
(66

So if the Reynolds' number is sufficiently high the transversal region interested by the velocity gradients is much smaller than the region interested by the longitudinal ones. The flow is advective in the longitudinal direction and diffusive in the transversal one. This region is what Prandtl13 called Boundary Layer over a solid surface. Under these conditions the momentum equations take a considerably simpler form. In fact:

^U ^V W ^y ^x

^U ^U ZU ^y ^x

^U ^V ^V ZV VU ^x ^x ^y

...

(67

and the x-component of momentum equation can be written as:

^U ^U ^p ^ ^U AV =B A ^x ^y ^x ^y ^y

(68

while the y-component contribution to the overall vectorial momentum becomes negligible and reduces to:

^p =0 ^x

p=const. across the layer = pout

(69

pout , the pressure outside the boundary layer, can then be approximated by the pressure on the body computed with the Euler formulation. Similar simplification can be obtained for compressible flows and the Energy and Entropy14 equations, but this is outside the scope of the present summary. This approach remains valid and acceptable until there is no flow separation from the body contour; if this happen then the only valid approach is given by the full N.S. Equations.

13 Ludwig Prandtl (1875-1953) defined it so in a now famous paper in 1904. 14 See: G. Degrez, VKI Lecture Notes on Boundary Layers.

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Table of Contents
1.The Continuum.........................................................................................................2 2.The generalised Transport Equation.........................................................................2 3.The transport equation for a fluid.............................................................................3 3.1.Mass Conservation............................................................................................3 3.2.Momentum Conservation..................................................................................4 3.2.2.The pressure term..........................................................................................5 3.2.3.The Shear Term.............................................................................................5 3.2.4.The Final Formulation....................................................................................6 3.3.Energy Conservation.........................................................................................7 3.3.1.The Fourier law.............................................................................................7 3.3.2.The mechanical work.....................................................................................7 3.3.3.The final formulation......................................................................................8 3.3.4.The Internal Energy Equation........................................................................8 3.3.5.The Role of the Stress Term...........................................................................8 3.3.6.The equation for Entropy...............................................................................9 3.4.The Scalar Transport Equation........................................................................10 3.5.The Initial and Boundary Condition.................................................................10 4.The non-dimensional Formulation of a Problem......................................................11 4.1.The Dimensionless Formulation of the Fluid Mechanic Equations...................12 4.1.1.The Dimensionless Parameters.....................................................................13 4.1.2.The Incompressible Formulation..................................................................13 5.The Euler Equations...............................................................................................15 5.1.The Vorticity Equation....................................................................................16 5.2.The Bernoulli Equation...................................................................................17 5.2.1.The equation for the Potential......................................................................17 6.The Boundary Layer Simplification.........................................................................18

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