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(With A Special Focus On Boundary
Layer And Its Effects)

M. Tech. (1st
Roll No14AE60R03

is an aspect of friction. Whenever a fluid moves over a solid

or over an another fluid , the mutual frictional resistance arising in
the contact surfaces is known as viscosity and such a flow is known as
viscous flow. The viscous shear stress is given by
where, =shear stress
=coefficient of viscosity
For air at standard room temperature ,
=1.7894* kg/ms
Newtons second law gives =m ------------- (1)
where is the force in X direction, m is the mass and is the acceleration
in X
direction . Now consider a fluid element as shown in figure.
Here shear stresses on three faces are shown.

Now considering forces on the fluid element in X direction only, we have

= ( p- ( p + .dx ) ) .dy. dz + ( ( + .dx ) - ) .dy . dz + ( ( + .dy )
) ) .dx .dz + ( ( + .dz ) - ) ) .dx .dy
On simplification which gives,
= ( - + + ) .dx .dy. dz


again mass m = where is the density of the fluid

also = = + V. = + ( u + v + w )
Putting these values in equation (1) we have
- + + = . + w.
This is the Navier-Stokes equation in X direction for a viscous flow .
Similarly equations
For other directions can also be found.

Types of viscous flows :

Viscous flows can be differentiated into two
types viz Laminar and Turbulent flow.
Laminar Flows : Laminar flows are those in which streamlines are
smooth and regular and a fluid particle moves smoothly along a
Turbulent Flows : Turbulent flows are those in which streamlines break
up and fluid particles move randomly in a zigzag fashion.

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Boundary Layer :
When a solid body moves in viscous fluid or vice
versa , the fluid layer adjacent to the solid body sticks to it . As we
move perpendicular to the fluid motion from the solid body, the
velocities of fluid layers keep on increasing till it
reaches free stream fluid velocity . Thus a velocity gradient exists in
the direction perpendicular to the fluid motion. This region where a
velocity gradient exists in the direction perpendicular to the fluid
motion is known as boundary layer.

Types Of Boundary Layer :

a) Blasius Boundary Layer : It is the boundary layer
attached to a flat plate held in oncoming unidirectional flow.
b) Stokes Boundary Layer : It is a thin shear layer
develops on an oscillatory body in a viscous liquid.
In such a case when a fluid rotates, viscous forces are
balanced by Coriolis effect.
Coriolis effect is the deflection of a body when viewed in
a rotating frame of reference.

c) Laminar Boundary Layer: When a laminar flow takes place

over a bounding surface , the associated boundary layer is known as
Laminar Boundary Layer.
d) Turbulent Boundary Layer: When a turbulent flow takes
place over a bounding surface the associated boundary layer is
known as Turbulent Boundary Layer.
Boundary Layer Properties:
1)Velocity Boundary Layer Thickness (): Boundary Layer
thickness at a point on the solid surface is the height from that point
to a point where velocity is 99% of the free stream velocity .
Boundary layer thickness at different points may be different.
2)Thermal Boundary Layer Thickness ( ): Thermal boundary
layer thickness at point on the solid surface is height from that point
to a point where the fluid temperature is equal to the free stream flow

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3) Displacement Thickness ( * ) : It is the height proportional

to the missing mass flow rate due to the presence of boundary
layer . It also gives the displacement through which a streamline
drifts due to the presence of boundary layer.

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Boundary layer equations: For a steady two dimensional flow
continuity and momentum equations are given by,
(.u ) + ( .v )=0 ------------------(4)
u. + v. = - . + .


(A) LAMINAR B.L. : For an incompressible
flow over a flat plate


For compressible flow



(B) TURBULENT B.L. : For an

incompressible flow over a flat plate

Aerodynamic Boundary Layer : It was first proposed by Ludwig
Prandtl in a paper presented on August 12,1904 at the third International
Congress Of Mathematics in Heidelberg,Germany.
It simplifies equations of a flow around an airfoil by dividing the flow
field into two areas viz flow adjacent to the airfoil i.e. inside the boundary
layer where viscosity is dominant and outside the boundary layer where the
flow can be assumed to be inviscid.
Viscous flow solution: This differentiation of flow leads to a simplified
solution to viscous flow problems .


(b) Using the above values the boundary layer equations (4) and (5) are
solved and then momentum thickness * is found. Once momentum
thickness is found effective body shape i.e. body + boundary layer is
determined. Now within this region viscous calculations are carried out.
Effects of types of boundary layer on shear stress : Velocity profile
of a laminar boundary layer is completely different from that of a turbulent
boundary layer.
Incase of a laminar boundary layer, velocity gradually reduces from free
stream value at the outer layer to zero at the wall while incase of a turbulent
boundary layer velocity is almost uniform near to the solid surface and
suddenly becomes zero as evident from the following graph.

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Pressure distribution in a boundary layer:

Pressure through a boundary layer in a direction perpendicular to the
surface is constant.

Thus in figure though pressure increases in the direction of the flow, but it
remains constant in a given section, viz 1-1, 2-2 etc.
This is an important phenomenon. This is why pressure calculated
from inviscid calculation gives correct value for real life surface

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u./ + v. / = - / . ( / ) + . ( ^ )/( .y^ )
Now at y=0, v=0 and =0 .
/ . ( / ) = . (

)/( .y/ ^
) ^

however boundary layer suction is provided then equation becomes

v./ + / . ( / ) = . ( ^ )/( .y^ )
/ . ( / ) = . ( ^ )/( .y^ )
Now if / =0 ,then ( ^ )/( .y^ ) =0 at the wall i.e. is at a
maximum there and falls away steadily.

If however > 0 i.e. if there is an adverse pressure gradient ( ^ )/( .y ^ ) >
0 i.e. is at a minimum there. Hence /( ) first increases and then
decreases with y. At this point flow is at the verge of separation.

If pressure gradient further increases velocity profile gets distorted and

( /( ) )y=0 becomes zero first and flow is at the verge of separation now.
On further increase of pressure gradient( /( ) )y=0 becomes negative
and flow reversal happens.


Wake due to separation

How does lift reduce due to separation :

It is now clear that due to
separation , pressure downstream an airfoil on the upper surface reduces
sharply which increases drag drastically.
But at the same time any decrease in pressure on the upper surface should
increase the lift.But why does the lift decrease due to separation?

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IMPORTANCE OF INVISCID FLOW: Though the concept of perfect

inviscid fluid is absurd, yet in many cases viscosity associated is negligible. In
such cases inviscid flow calculation gives almost accurate results.
Moreover in case of viscous flow over an aerofoil the flow can be divided
into two regime as discussed earlier, viz viscous and inviscid which makes
the life easier.
Most importantly , some recent research by NASA is hinting that
even as complex problem as flow separation till date to be thought
of completely viscous dominated phenomenon may be in reality be
an inviscid dominated flow which requires only a rotational flow. For
example some inviscid flow field numerical solutions for flow over a
circular cylinder when vorticity is introduced by means of a curved
shock wave , accurately predicting the separated flow on the rear
side of the cylinder.

Boundary layer and shock wave interaction :

Boundary layer does not mix

with a shock wave, rather when
a viscous supersonic flow takes
place over a flat plate shock
wave impinges on the boundary
layer. Due to strong adverse
pressure gradient across a
shock wave the boundary layer
gets separated . Since high
pressure behind the shock feeds
upstream through the subsonic
portion of the boundary layer , hence
separation takes place ahead of the theoretical inviscid flow impingement
point of the shock wave . In turn separated boundary layer deflects the
oncoming flow into itself , thus creating a second oblique shock wave known
as leading edge shock wave. Separated boundary layer subsequently
reattaches the surface at some downstream position. Here the flow is again
turned into itself creating a third shock wave known as reattachment shock
wave. In between the leading edge shock and reattachment shock supersonic
flow is turned away from itself through some expansion fans.
The scale and severity of the interaction depends on the type of boundary

Boundary layer-shock wave interaction in a nozzle : We know for

pressure ratio higher than some critical value normal shock wave stands right
inside the nozzle as shown in the adjacent figure.

However the study of Craig A. Hunter presented in a paper called

Experimental Investigation Of Separated Nozzle Flows shows that
normal shock wave interacts with boundary layer inside the nozzle
to cause local separation of the flow and again reattachment of the
flow. This causes the formation of Lamda type shock wave as shown
in the adjacent figure.

A) Fundamentals Of Aerodynamics
--by John D Anderson Jr
B) Principle Of Flight
--by John D Anderson Jr
C) Edinburgh University Publication On
Boundary Layer
D) Internet