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1

Exercise Sheet 2: Boundary Layer Theory

MEC 3706 Aerodynamics 2
Semes. 1, 11/12

Q1.
A thin flat plate of length 60 cm is held in uniform water flow such that the length of the plate is
parallel to the flow direction. The flow speed is 15 m/s, the viscosity, =1.0x10-3 Pa s, and the
water density is 998 kg/m3.
i- What is the Reynolds number based on plate length. What can be deduced from its value?
ii- On the assumption that the boundary layer is laminar over the whole surface, use the
approximate theory based on momentum integral equation to find:
1- The boundary layer thickness at the trailing edge of the plate; and
2- The skin friction drag coefficient for the upper surface of the plate.
iii- Repeat (ii) , but now assume the boundary layer is turbulent over the whole surface. (Use the
formula derived from the 1/7 power law velocity profile). Compare the results with the results
obtained from (ii).
iv- Repeat (ii) , but now assume the boundary layer is mixed boundary layer . (Part of the
boundary layer is laminar and the rest is turbulent). Compare your results with the results
obtained from (ii) and (iii).

Q2.
An airplane flies at a speed of 600 km/h at an altitude of 5000 m. If the boundary layers on the
wing surfaces behave as those on a flat plate, estimate the extent of laminar boundary layer flow
along the wing. Assume a transitional Reynolds number of R
et
=4x10
5
. If the airplane maintains
its 600 km/h speed but descends to 3000 m elevation, will the portion of the wing covered by a
laminar boundary layer increases or decrease compared with its value at 5000 m? Explain.
[
3000m
=0.9093 kg/m
3
,
3000m
=1.694x10
-5
N.s/m
2
,
5000m
=0.73643 kg/m
3
,
5000m
=1.628x10
-5
N.
s/m
2
]

2

Q3.
Derive the equation for the velocity profile between two parallel plates with upper plates
moving at a constant speed,
2U1 and lower plate moving at constant speed, -0.5U
1
dp
C
dx
=
where
C>0. Compare the wall shear stress of the upper and lower plates.

2U
1

y
h
0.5U
1

x

(Hint: Use X-momentum Eq.
2
2
y
u
dx
dp

= and Y-momentum Eq. 0 =

y
p
)

Q4.
A thin flat plate 60 by 150 cm is immersed in a 12 m/s stream of air. Compute the total friction
drag coefficient if the stream is parallel to
i- the short side
ii- the long side
Assume transition Reynolds number 5x10
5

[Hint:

=1.225 kg/m
3
,

=1.789x10
-5
N. s/m
2
]

Q5.
The momentum integral Equation given as

= +

0
1
2
1
2
w e
dx
dp
v U
dx
d
U dy u
dx
d
(5.1)
where

dx
dU
U
dx
dp
1
1
= (5.2)
and

+ =

0
1
dx
d
U udy
dx
d
v
e

Prove that Eq. 5.1 can be reduced to the following form

3

( )

w
dx
dU
U U
dx
d
= +
1
1
2
1

Q6.
Use the integral momentum analysis and assumed velocity profile for a laminar boundary
layer
3
2
1
2
3
|

\
|
|

\
|
=

y y
U
u

where is the boundary layer thickness, to describe the incompressible flow past a flat plate,
find

(a)
x
x
Re |

\
|

(b)
x
x
Re
*
|
|

\
|

(c)
x
x
Re |

\
|

(c) ( )
x f
C Re

(Hint: Momentum integral equation
2
f
C
dx
d
=

for 0 =
dx
dp
)

Q7.
The approximate velocity profile for laminar boundary layer is given as

) 2 (
4 2
1
2
3
3 2 3
y y y y y u +

+ =
Where,
dx
dU
1
2

= ,
1
U
u
u = ,

y
y = and
1
U is mainstream velocity and is the thickness
of the boundary layer.

Show that

48 8
3
=

)
6
1
2
39 (
280
1
2

4

|

\
|
+ =
2
3
1
U
C
f

Q 8.
The velocity component at the edge of the boundary layer is given as
s e
v
dx
d
U udy
dx
d
v + =

1
0

Show that the above equation can be reduced to
( )
s e
v U
dx
d
v =

1

Where
s
v is the flow velocity due to suction passing through a porous wall,
1
U is mainstream
velocity and is the thickness of the boundary layer.
Q9.
An alternate analysis of turbulent flat plate flow was given by Prandtl in 1927, using a wall shear
stress formula from pipe flow
4 / 1
2
0225 . 0 |

\
|
=

U
U
w

Show that this formula can be used with the following momentum integral equation
dx
d
U x

2
) ( =
where
72
7
= to derive the following relations
5 / 1
Re
37 . 0
x
x
=

and
5 / 1
Re
0577 . 0
x
f
C =

Q10.
A laminar boundary layer velocity profile is approximated by the two straight line segments
indicated in Fig. Q10. Derive an expression for the velocity profile and use the momentum
integral equation to determine the boundary layer thickness, =(x).

5

Fig. Q 10
[ Hint:
U
C
dx
d
f

2 2
= = ]

6

Solution

Q1.
a-
i- Reynolds number based on the plate length is
:
t
e e
R
UL
R > =

= =

6
3
2
10 5
10 1
10 50 10 998

The Reynolds is higher than transition Reynolds the boundary can be in transition region or
turbulent.

ii- 1- Now we will determine the B-L thickness assuming that the B-L is laminar. In
laminar case we know that
mm
R
x
R
x
x X
e e
03 . 1
10 5
10 50 64 . 4 64 . 4 64 . 4
6
2
=

= = =

1- Skin frication drag given for whole plates (both surface of the plate), since the we solve
for one surface, then
( )
00058 . 0
10 5
586 . 2
2
1 586 . 2
2
1
2
1
2 / 1
6
2 / 1
=

= = =
x
e
F D
R
C surface one
iii- Now we will determine the B-L thickness by assuming the B-L is turbulent. In turbulent
case we know that

( ) ( )
( )
mm
R
x
R
x
x x
e e
76 . 8
10 5
10 50 383 . 0 383 . 0 383 . 0
5 / 1
6
2
5 / 1 5 / 1
=

= = =

Coefficient of skin frication drag by assuming that the B-L is turbulent, and for one surface we
have

( )
0034 . 0
10 5
1488 . 0 5 . 0 1488 . 0
5 . 0 5 . 0
5 / 1
6
5 / 1
=

= =
x
e
F D
R
C
iii- We can see that there is a large difference in the answer depending on whether we
assume laminar or turbulent flow. And either answer is correct since the B-L is neither
completely laminar or turbulent over the entire length. The length for transition to occur is
given approximately when
5
10 0 . 3 =
tran
e
R . Thus the transition length
tran
x for this problem
is
cm m
x
R
U
x
x
e tran
3 03 . 0 10 0 . 3
998 10
10 1
5
3
1
= =

= =

Thus, the answer assuming a turbulent B-L would be closer to the correct value.

iv- Now taking into account that part of the B-L is laminar and the rest is turbulent
The B-L thickness at the point of transition is

7

( )
m
tran
000254 . 0
10 0 . 3
03 . 0 64 . 4
2 / 1
5
=

=
The transition distance can be calculate as
( ) m R
U
X
t t
e T
00943 . 0 10 0 . 3
10 998
10 0 . 1
5 . 35 5 . 35
8 / 5
5
3
8 / 5
=

= =

It means that the total length of the equivalent turbulent B-L would be
( ) m x
turb
479 . 0 00943 . 0 03 . 0 5 . 0
.
= + =
and
m
Ux
x
0085 . 0
10 0 . 1
479 . 0 10 998
479 . 0 383 . 0 383 . 0
5 / 1
3
5 / 1
=
|

\
|

=
|

\
|
=

b-

For mixing layer
( )
5 / 4
8 / 5
5 . 35
0744 . 0
. tran tran
e e e
e
F
R R R
R
C + =
( ) ( )
5 / 4
8 / 5
5 5 6
6
10 0 . 3 5 . 35 10 0 . 3 10 5
10 5
0744 . 0
+

=
F
C
3
10 18 . 3 0

= =
F
C drag surface ne

The results from (ii) under the assumption that the B-L is laminar, was much under predicated
the boundary layer thickness and skin friction drag.
Under predicated % of B-L thickness: % 88 100
0085 . 0
00103 . 0 0085 . 0
=

Under predicated % of skin frication drag coefficient: % 98 100
00318 . 0
00058 . 0 00318 . 0
=

The results from (iii) under the assumption that the B-L is turbulent, was very slightly over
predicated the boundary layer thickness and skin friction drag coefficients.

Over predicated % of B-L thickness: % 3 100
0085 . 0
00876 . 0 0085 . 0
=

Over predicated % of skin frication drag coefficient: % 2 . 1 100
0033 . 0
0034 . 0 0033 . 0
=

8

The above comparison study proven that the assumption of turbulent boundary layer gives better
results. It is expected since we have proven that the 90% of the boundary layer was turbulent
boundary layer.

Q2
At 5000 m
a)
s
m
km s
hr
hr
km
U
Ux
R
tr
e
xtr
167
1
1000
3600
1
600 = |

\
|
|

\
|
|

\
|
=
=

s
m
2
5
5
10 21 . 2
73643 . 0
10 628 . 1

= =

m
U
R
x
Ux
R
xt
xtr
e
tr
tr
e
053 . 0
167
10 21 . 2 10 4
10 4
5 5
5
=

= = = =

b) At 3000 m
s
m
km s
hr
hr
km
U 167
1
1000
3600
1
600 = |

\
|
|

\
|
|

\
|
=

s
m
2
5
5
10 863 . 1
9093 . 0
10 694 . 1

= =

m
U
R
x
Ux
R
xt
xtr
e
tr
tr
e
0446 . 0
167
10 863 . 1 10 4
10 4
5 5
5
=

= = = =

The laminar boundary layer occupies the first 0.0446 m of the wing at altitude of 3000m and
from part (a) the first 0.053m at an altitude of 5000 m. This is due mainly to the lower density
(Larger kinematic viscosity). The dynamic viscosities are approximately the same.

Q3
X-momentum Eq.:

2
2
y
u
dx
dp

=
(4.1)
Y-momentum Eq.:

9

) ( 0 x f p
y
p
= =

(4.2)
Given

C
dx
dp
=
(4.3)

Using Eq. 4.3 into Eq. 4.1, we obtain

C
y
u
=

2
2
(4.4)
We integrate Eq. 4.4, we obtain

1
C y
C
y
u
+ =

(4.5)
Again we integrate Eq. 4.5 to obtain
2 1
2
2
1
C y C y
C
u + + =

(4.6)
Now we apply boundary condition to Eq.4.6, the constants values can be obtain as

At
1 2 1
5 . 0 5 . 0 0 U C U u y = = =
(4.7)
At
1 1
2
1 1
5 . 0
2
2 2 U h C
Ch
U U u h y + = = =

|
|

\
|
|
|

\
|
=
2 2
5 1
2
1
1
Ch U
h
C
(4.8)

Using the values of
1
C
and
2
C
from Eq. 4.7 and 4.8 into Eq.4.6, we can obtain the velocity
profile as:
2 2 2
5
2
1
) (
1
2
1 2
U Ch U
h
y
y
C
y u
|
|

\
|
+ =

#

Shear Stress
u
y

| |
=
|

\

|
|

\
|
+ = + =

2 2
5 1
2
1
1
Ch U
h
y
C
C y
C
y
u

10

2 2
5
2 2
5 1
1
2
1
Ch
h
U
Cy
Ch U
h
y
C
+ =
|
|

\
|
|
|

\
|
+ =

For lower surface y=0
|

\
|
=
2 2
5
1
Ch
h
U

For upper surface y=h
h
U Ch Ch
h
U
Ch
2
5
2 2 2
5
1 1

+ = |

\
|
+ =

The shear stress of the upper plat is higher than shear stress of the upper plate but they are in
opposite direction..

Q4.

a)

Check boundary types
trans
e e
R
Ux
R < =

= =

5
5
2
10 93 . 4
10 789 . 1
10 60 12 225 . 1

The boundary layer is laminar

Given C
D
for laminar boundary layer as
( )
( )
00368 . 0
10 93 . 4
586 . 2 586 . 2
2 / 1
5
2 / 1
=

= =
x
e
D
R
C

b- Check boundary types
trans
e e
R
Ux
R > =

= =

6
5
2
10 23 . 1
10 789 . 1
10 150 12 225 . 1

The boundary layer is turbulent
tr
, the boundary layer is laminar but at X
tr
BL will transit to turbulent,
m
U
R
x
Ux
R
xt
xtr
e
tr
tr
e
6085 . 0
12 225 . 1
10 789 . 1 10 5
10 5
5 5
5
=

= = = =

Transition distance:
Given
1575 . 0 ) 10 5 (
12 225 . 1
10 789 . 1
5 . 35 5 . 35
8 / 5 5
5
8 / 5
=

= =

t T
e T
R
U
x

Effective length for laminar boundary layer=X
tr
-X
Tt
=0.6085-0.1575=0.451

For laminar boundary layer part

11

5
5
10 706 . 3
10 789 . 1
451 . 0 12 225 . 1
=

= =

tr
ex
Ux
R

( )
( )
00425 . 0
10 706 . 3
586 . 2 586 . 2
2 / 1
5
2 / 1
=

= =
x
e
D
R
C

For turbulent boundary layer part
( ) + =
5 / 4
8 / 5
5 . 35
0744 . 0
et et e
e
F
R R R
R
C

( ) ( ) 003381 . 0 10 5 5 . 35 10 5 10 23 . 1
10 23 . 1
0744 . 0
5 / 4
8 / 5
5 5 6
6
= +

=
F
C

006772 . 0 003381 . 0 2 2 = = =
F D
C C

Total drag=0.00425+0.006772=0.011022

Q5.

= +

0
1
2
1
2
w e
dx
dp
v U
dx
d
U dy u
dx
d
(5.1)
= + .
2
1
Const U p
dx
dU
U
dx
dp
1
1
= (5.2)

Using Eq. 5.2 into eq. 5.1, this can be rewritten as

= +

0
1
1 1
2
1
2
w e
dx
dU
U v U
dx
d
U dy u
dx
d
(5.3)

We know

+ =

0
1
dx
d
U udy
dx
d
v
e
(5.4)
By using Eq. 5.4 into Eq. 5.3, Eq. 5.3 can be rewritten as

= |

\
|
+ +

0
1
1
0
1 1
2
1
2
w
dx
dU
U
dx
d
U udy
dx
d
U
dx
d
U dy u
dx
d
(5.5)

Given the following integration

=

0 0 0
1
1 1
udy
dx
dU
udy U
dx
d
udy
dx
d
U

Using above integration into Eq. 5.5, we obtain

12

= + +

0
1
1
0
2
1
0
1
1
2
1
2
w
dx
dU
U
dx
d
U udy
dx
dU
udy U
dx
d
dx
d
U dy u
dx
d
(5.6)

For incompressible flow is constant, Eq. 5.6 can be rearranged by writing underline terms
together as:

( )

w
udy U
dx
dU
dy u U u
dx
d
= |

\
|
+

0 0
1
1
1
(5.7)

We can replace
1
U in Eq. 5.7 by the following Eq.

0
1 1
dy U U

So, Eq. 5.7 can be rewritten as

( ) ( )

w
dy u U
dx
dU
dy u U u
dx
d
= +

0 0
1
1
1
(5.8)

By dividing 1
st
term of Eq. 5.8 by
2
1
U and 2
nd
term by
1
U Eq. 5.8 can be rewritten as

[ ]

w
dy
U
u
dx
dU
U dy
U
u
U
u
U
dx
d
=
|
|

\
|
+
|
|

\
|

0 0
1
1
1
1 1
2
1
1 1 (5.9)

By introducing
|
|

\
|
=

0
1
1 dy
U
u
and
|
|

\
|
=

0
1 1
1 dy
U
u
U
u

Eq.5.9 can be rewritten as

( )

w
dx
dU
U U
dx
d
= +
1
1
2
1
#

Q6.
The velocity profile for a Laminar B-L given as
3
3
2
1
2
3
2
1
2
3
y y u
y y
U
u
= |

\
|
|

\
|
=

Let us employ the definition for
( )
|
|

\
|
|

\
|
|

\
|
= =
1
0
1
0
3 3
2
1
2
3
1
2
1
2
3
1 y d y y y y y d u u

13

1
0
7 5 3 4 2
1
0
6 4 2 3
28
1
10
3
12
9
8
1
4
3
4
1
2
3
4
9
2
1
2
3
y y y y y y d y y y y y + =
)
`

+ =

( )

13929 . 0
13929 . 0 035714 . 0 3 . 0 75 . 0 125 . 0 75 . 0
=
= + =
(1)

From the definition of
f
C , we know
w
w
f
dy
du
U y
u
U
C
|
|

\
|
=
|
|

\
|

2
2

(2)

dy
du
at wall can be found as follows

U
dy
du
y
2
3
0
=
|
|

\
|
=
(3)
Using Eq. 3 into Eq. 2, we obtain

U
C
dx
d
f

2
3
2
= =
(4)

We know from Eq. 1 that
dx
d
dx
d
13929 . 0 13929 . 0 = =
(5)
From Eq. 4 and 5, we can write the following relation

dx
U
dx
U
d
U dx
d

7689 . 10
13929 . 0 2
3
2
3
13929 . 0 =

= =
( ) 64 . 4 7689 . 10 2
1
7689 . 10 7689 . 10 7689 . 10
2
1
2 / 1
2
2 2
= |

\
|
= |

\
|
= = =
ex
ex
e
R
x
R
x
R
x
x
Ux
x
U

(6)

b- To develop the relation for the displacement thickness
( )

=
(

+ = |

\
|
+ = =

1
0
1
0
1
0
4 2 3
8
1
4
3
2
1
2
3
1 1 y y y y d y y y d u

14

375 . 0
375 . 0
375 . 0 125 . 0 75 . 0 1 = = + =

(7)

Eq. 7 used with Eq. 6 leads to
74 . 1 64 . 4
375 . 0
=
|
|

\
|
=
|
|
|
|

\
|
=
|

\
|

e e e
R
x
R
x
R
x

(8)

(c) Since ( )

dx
d
dx
d
C
U
C
dx
d
f
f
2 2
2
3
2
= = = = (9)

Since from Eq. 1 and 6
e e
R
x
R
x 646 . 0
64 . 4 13929 . 0 13929 . 0 = = =
Eq. 9 can be rewritten as

ex e
f
R U
x
dx
d
Ux
x
dx
d
R
x
dx
d
C
293 . 1
646 . 0 2 646 . 0 2
646 . 0
2 =
|
|
|
|

\
|
=
|
|
|
|

\
|
= =

93 . 1 =
e f
R C

Q 7

From the definition of

, we know

( )

1
0
1 y d u

(1)
by using velocity profile relation which is given, the Eq. 1 can be rewritten as

( )
(

\
|
+

+
|

\
|
+ = =

1
0
3 2
1
0
4 2
1
2 4 2
3
1 1 y d y y y y d u

15

1
0
4 3 2
4 4 2
1
3 2 2 4 2
3
(

\
|

+

+
|

\
|

+ =
y y y
y

48 8
3
16 8
1
6 8 4
3
1

=
|

\
|

+

+
|

\
|

+ =
#1

and

is defined as

( )

=
1
0
1 y d u u

(2)

By using the relation of the velocity profile, Eq, 2 can be rewritten as

( )

(

\
|

\
|
+
= =
1
0
3 2
1
0
4 2
1
2 4 2
3
1
y y y
y d u u

y d y y y
(

\
|

+

+
|

\
|

+
3 2
4 2
1
2 4 2
3
1

1
0
7
2
6 5 2
4 3
2
2
7 4 2
1
6 4 2
1
2
2
5 4 4 2
1
4 2
3
2
4 4 2
1
2 4 2
3
2
3 2 4 2
3
2 4 2
3
(
(
(
(
(

\
|

)
`

\
|

)
`

\
|
|

\
|
+
+
)
`

\
|

\
|
+ +

+ |

\
|
+ |

\
|
+
=
y y y
y y y

|

\
|

=
2
6
1
2
39
280
1
#

f
C is defined as
0
1
2
1
2
1
2 2
2 / 1
=
|
|

\
|
=
|
|

\
|

= =
y w
w
f
y d
u d
U y
u
U U
C

(3)
From velocity profile, we obtain
y d
u d
at
0 = y
as
2
3 ) (
0

+ =
= y
y d
u d

So, Eq. 3 can be rewritten as

16

|

\
|

+ =
2
3
1

U
C
f
#

Q8.

Ans.

s e
v
dx
d
U udy
dx
d
v + =

1
0
(8.1)

Eq. 2a.1 can be rewritten as

( )

= + =

0
1
0
1
0
s s e
v dy u U
dx
d
v dy
dx
d
U udy
dx
d
v

|
|

\
|
=

0
1
1
1
s
v dy
U
u
U
dx
d
(8.2)
By using

definition, which is given Eq. 8.2 can be rewritten as

( )
s e
v U
dx
d
v =

1
#

Q9.
Given for pipe flow:
4 / 1
2
0225 . 0 |

\
|
=

U
U
w

But
dx
d
U x

2
) ( =

Then
4 / 1
2 2
0225 . 0 |

\
|
=

U
U
dx
d
U
But
72
7
=
Then dx
U
U
dx
d
U
4 / 1
2 2
0225 . 0
72
7
|

\
|
= |

\
|

(1)
Cancel U
2
and rearrange Eq. 1

dx
U
d
4 / 1
4 / 1
2314 . 0 |

\
|
=

(2)

17

dx
U
4 / 1
4 / 5
2314 . 0
5
4
|

\
|
=

(3)

Take the (5/4)
th
root of both sides of Eq. 3 and rearrange
5 / 1
5 / 4
5 / 1
Re
37 . 0
37 . 0
x
x
x
U
|

\
|

(4)
Substitute into
w

5 / 1
5 / 1
4 / 1
4 / 1
2 2
Re
0577 . 0
37 . 0
0225 . 0 2
0225 . 0
2
1
x
f f w
Ux
C
U
U C U = |

\
|
= |

\
|
= =

Q10.
Velocity profile
1- B.C:
2
1
0 < y
y b a u + =
1

0 0 , 0
1
= = = a u y
3
4
3 / 2 , 2 / 1
1
= = = b u y
y u
3
4
1
=

2- B.C: 1
2
1
< y
y b a u + =
2

b a u y
2
1
3
2
3
2
,
2
1
2
+ = = =
b a u y + = = = 1 1 , 1
2

3
2
,
3
1
= = b a
y u
3
2
3
1
2
+ =

Boundary Layer Thickness
( ) ( ) ( )

u - 1 u 1 1
1
1/2
2 2
2 / 1
0
1 1

+ = = y d y d u u dy u u

18

( )

3 9
16
2 3
4
9
16
3
4
y
3
4
- 1 y
3
4
1
2 / 1
0
3
2 / 1
0
2 / 1
0
2 / 1
0
2
1/2
0
2 / 1
0
1 1
y y
y d y y d y y d y d u u

= = |

\
|
=

093 . 0
27
2
6
1
= =
( )

06481 . 0
3 9
4
2 9
4
9
1
2 3
2
3
1

3
2
3
1
- 1
3
2
3
1
1
1
2 / 1
3
1
2 / 1
2
1
2 / 1
1
2 / 1
2
1
2 / 1
1
1/2
1
2 / 1
1 1
=
+ =
|
|

\
|
|

\
|
+ |

\
|
+ =

y y
y
y
y y d y y y d u u
1578 . 0 06481 . 0 093 . 0 = + =

(1)
Given
U
C
dx
d
f

2 2
= = (2)
We know from Eq. 1 that

dx
d
dx
d
1578 . 0 1578 . 0 = = (3)
From Eq. 2 and 3, we can write the following relation

dx
U
dx
U
d
U dx
d

954 . 9
1578 . 0 2 2
1578 . 0 =

= =
x
e
R x
x
Ux
x
U
954 . 9 2
954 . 9 954 . 9
2
1
2
2 2

= |

\
|
= =

x
e
R
x
462 . 4
=

(4)