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# Empirical Results on Boundary Layer Theory

Comparison of Empirical formulas of Laminar and Turbulent Boundary layer for flow over
smooth flat plate at zero incidences
S.No. Parameters Laminar Boundary Layer Turbulent Boundary Layer
.
Boundary
Layer
Thic!ness "#
\$

% . &

,
_

U
x

( )
\$

'e
% . &
x
x

\$

U x
&

)* . %

,
_

x U
x
( )
&

'e )* . %

x
x
&

&
+
(

U x
\$.
,isplacement
Thic!ness
"
-
#
\$

*\$%. . -

,
_

U
x

( )
\$

'e
*\$%. .
-
x
x

)+ . % -
&

%+/ . % -

,
_

x U
x
( )
&

'e %+/ . % -

x
x
# * "
.
- n for

).
0omentum
Thic!ness "1#
\$

//+ . %

,
_

U
x

( )
\$

'e
//+ . %
x
x

) . %
&

%)/ . %

,
_

x U
x
( )
&

'e %)/ . %

x
x
# * "
*\$
*
n for

+.
Ener2y
Thic!ness
"
)
#
\$

)
%+++ .

,
_

U
x

( )
\$

)
'e
%+++ .
x
x

\$% . %
)

&

)
%/& . %

,
_

x U
x
( )
&

)
'e %/& . %

x
x
# * "
+%
*
)
n for

&.
S!in 3riction
,ra2 ",
f
#
3or both
sides of plate
l 4 len2th of
plate
b 4 width of
plate
\$

\$
)
)\$. . l U b D
f

\$
)
( l U D
f

( )
\$

'e
)\$. .

f
C
&

\$
%*\$ . %

,
_

l U
l U b D
f
&
+
&
5
( l U D
f

( )
&

'e
%*+ . %

f
C
/.
'eynolds
Number
'an2e
&
min
% ) 'e <
ar la

/ &
% ) 'e % ) < <
Transition
/
% ) 'e >
Turbulent
Note:
Shape Factor H : This quantity is defined as the ratio of displacement thickness to momentum thickness
For laminar flows - H varies between 2 and 3. It is 3.7 near separation point.
* Thus ecessively lar!e values of H "above 3# indicate that the boundary layer is about to separate.
* \$eparation is predicted in the laminar re!ime when ne!ative skin friction occurs.
For turbulent flows - H varies between %.& and 2.
* 'hen H eceeds 2.2( the flow is assumed to be separated and results should !enerally be re!arded as meanin!less.
Ref.: Schlichtin2( 6. "5*5#7 8Boundary Layer Theory9( *
th
Edn( 0c:raw;6ill Boo! Company.
To the practicin! en!ineer the velocity profile itself is of very little interest. The followin! parameters are more important.
1. Boundary Layer hic!ness : This is defined as the y) location where u*u
e
reaches +.,,-( that is the u) velocity becomes
,,- of the ed!e velocity.
". #isplacement hic!ness \$ : This is a measure of the outward displacement of the streamlines from the solid surface as a
result of the reduced u) velocity within the boundary layer. This quantity is defined as

*
1
u

e
u
e

1
]
1
0

dy
where the subscript .e. refers to the conditions at the boundary layer ed!e. This quantity is usually computed by numerical
inte!ration.
%. &omentum hic!ness : This is a measure of the momentum loss within the boundary layer as a result of the reduced
velocities within the boundary layer. It is defined as

u

e
u
e 0

1
u
u
e

1
]
1
dy
and may be found by numerical inte!ration of the velocity profile.
'. Shape Factor H : This quantity is defined as the ratio of displacement thickness to momentum thickness "
*
*). /or laminar
flows H varies between 2 and 3. It is 3.7 near separation point. Thus ecessively lar!e values of H "above 3# indicate that the
boundary layer is about to separate. In turbulent flows( H varies between %.& and 2. It is !iven in 0121 T3%37, by
Truckenbrodt( turbulent separation occurs at the H value between %.4 to 2.5. In !eneral trailin! ed!e turbulent separation starts
at H6%.47.
(. Surface Shear Stress: The shear stress at the wall can be found from the definition of shear stress. It is !iven by(

wall

w

u
y

_
,
wall
). S!in friction *oefficient c
f
: The derivative of u is computed numerically. This quantity is usually non)dimensionali7ed by the
dynamic pressure at the boundary layer ed!e( !ivin! the skin friction coefficient c
f
as
c
f

w
1
2

e
u
e
2

_
,
+. S!in Friction #ra,- # : The shear stress may be numerically inte!rated over the entire solid surface to !ive the skin friction
dra! force alon! the ) ais8
D
w
dx
Over Entire Surface

## .. S!in Friction #ra, *oefficient *

d
: The dra! force is usually non)dimensionali7ed by the free stream dynamic pressure
times the chord of the airfoil c( !ivin! the skin friction dra! coefficient alon! the ) ais( 2
d
.
C
d

D
1
2

2
c

_
,

/mportant: 0ote that all of the above definitions hold for laminar and turbulent( compressible and incompressible boundary
layers9