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# Flat Plate Boundary Layer

TITLE:
Flat Plate Boundary Layer
OBJECTIVE:
There are 3 main objectives from this experiment:
1. To measured the boundary layer velocity layer and observed the growth of the boundary
layer for the flat plate with smooth and rough surface.
2. To measured the boundary layer properties for the measured velocity profile.
3. To studied the effect of surface roughness on the development of the boundary layer.
APPARATUS:
1. Airflow bench
The bench provides adjustable air stream enables a series of experiments to conduct when
used with matching experimental equipment. The airflow is controlled by a damper
linked to a control rod, which can be pulled in and out from the front panel of the bench.
2. Test apparatus
It consists of rectangular duct with a flat plate in the middle of the duct. One side of the
plate is smooth and other rough.
3. Total and static tube pressure probes and multi-tube manometer.
The velocity is measured using total and static probes which are connected to multi-tube
manometer.
THEORY:

U
U

Turbulence

Laminar
Transition

## Figure1: Boundary layer on a flat plate (vertical thickness exaggerated greatly)

The boundary layer thickness is the distance from the surface to the point where the
velocity is within 1% of the free stream velocity. The displacement thickness *, is the distance
by which the solid boundary would have to be displaced in a frictionless flow the same mass
deficit exists in the boundary layer.
The momentum thickness , is defined as the thickness of the layer fluid of velocity, U
(free stream velocity), for which the momentum flux is equal to the deficit of momentum flux
through the boundary layer. The Blasiuss exact solution to the laminar boundary layer yields the
following equations for the above properties.

## Flat Plate Boundary Layer

5.0 x

1.72 x

Re x
Re x

0.664 x
Re x

Due to the complexity of the flow, there is no exact solution to the turbulent boundary layer. The
velocity profile within the boundary layer is commonly approximated using the 1/7 power law.
u
y

1
7

The properties of the boundary layer are approximated using the momentum integral equation
which results in the following expression.

0370 x

(Re x ) 5

0.0463 x
(Re x )

1
5

0.036 x
(Re x )

1
5

Another measured of the boundary layer is the shape factor, H, which is the ratio displacement
thickness to the momentum thickness, H=*/. For laminar flow, H increase from 2.6 to 3.5 at
separation. For turbulent boundary layer, H increase from 1.3 to approximately 2.5 at separation.
PROCEDURE:
1. The apparatus has been set up on the bench. Use the flat plat with the smooth surface for
the first of the experiment.
2. Set the pitot tube about 15mm away from the edge of the central plate.
3. Adjust the position of the central plate to set the measurement plane at the required
distance from the leading edge, say 40mm.
4. Switch on the fan and adjust the air speed to set the free stream air velocity at medium
speed.
5. Readings of the total pressure are measured using the pitot tube for arrange about 10
points as the tube is traversed towards the plate. Initially the readings should be almost
constant showing that the probe is in the freestream outside the boundary layer. Should it
not be so, go back and start further from the plate.
6. As the pressure begins to fall the increment of advance should be reduced so as to clearly
define the velocity profile. The pressure reading will not fall to zero as the pitot tube has
a finite thickness. A further indication that the wall has been reached is that the pressure
7. Repeat the experiment to set the measurement plane at 150mm.
8. Repeat the entire experiment for the rough surface.
Sample calculation:

## Boundary layer thickness suppose to be occur at y when u is 0.99 U s,

u at 0.99 Us = 0.99 / 0.2657
= 0.2684 m/s
= 0.370x
Rex1/5

since

Rex1/5 = 0.370x

* = 0.0463
0.370

Therefore;

0.370
= 2.95 x 10-4 m
= 5.46 x 10-4 m

## for test 1 smooth surface

for test 2 rough surface

## Momentum thickness in theory

Rex1/5 = 0.370x

= 0.036x
Rex1/5

since
Therefore;

= 0.036
0.370
= 0.036 (2.36 x 10-3)
0.370
= 2.30 x 10-4 m for test 1 smooth surface
= 4.24 x 10-4 m for test 2 rough surface
Us =
=

2g ( hn )

## (simplify from Bernoulli equation)

2 x 9.81 x (0.0022)

= 0.2078 m/s

u
Us

## Flat Plate Boundary Layer

Example calculation for test 1, smooth surface for distance 40 mm when y = 2 mm and velocity is
26.58 x 10-2 m / s;
u = 0.2077
U
0.2078
= 0.9997
Then calculate
1 - u = 1 0.9997
Us
= 0.0003
Then calculate
u
Us

1- u
Us

= 0.9997 ( 0.0003)
= 0.0003

## DATA AND RESULTS:

Free stream velocity, U
Density, (kg/m3)
Dynamic viscosity,
Gravity
(kg/m3)
(kg/m.s)
Re

No.

Micrometer

1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11

0.000
0.001
0.002
0.003
0.004
0.005
0.006
0.007
0.008
0.009
0.010

:
:
:
:
:
:
:
:

0.2721
885.0
62.5
9.81
1.1840
0.00001849
696.97

Static pressure
manometer, h10
(mm)
0.0100
0.0102
0.0102
0.0104
0.0104
0.0104
0.0104
0.0104
0.0104
0.0104
0.0104

Total pressure
Manometer, h11
(mm)
0.0120
0.0124
0.0130
0.0136
0.0138
0.0140
0.0140
0.0140
0.0138
0.0138
0.0138

h11-h10
(mm)

Velocity, u(y)
(m/s)

u/U

(1-u/U)

(u/U)(1-u/U)

0.0022
0.0022
0.0028
0.0032
0.0034
0.0036
0.0036
0.0036
0.0034
0.0034
0.0034

0.058124
0.060961
0.068773
0.073522
0.075784
0.077981
0.077981
0.077981
0.075784
0.075784
0.075784

0.119788
0.123592
0.136175
0.14233
0.145643
0.148791
0.148791
0.148791
0.145643
0.145643
0.145643

0.880212
0.876408
0.863825
0.85767
0.854357
0.851209
0.851209
0.851209
0.854357
0.854357
0.854357

0.105439
0.108317
0.117631
0.122072
0.124431
0.126652
0.126652
0.126652
0.124431
0.124431
0.124431

## Distance from leading edge, l

Free stream velocity, U
Density, (kg/m3)
Dynamic viscosity,
Gravity
(kg/m3)
(kg/m.s)
Re

No.

Micrometer

1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11

0.000
0.001
0.002
0.003
0.004
0.005
0.006
0.007
0.008
0.009
0.010

:
:
:
:
:
:
:
:

0.2684
885.0
62.5
9.81
1.1840
0.00001849
687.4897

Static pressure
manometer, h10
(mm)
0.0102
0.0102
0.0102
0.0104
0.0104
0.0104
0.0104
0.0104
0.0104
0.0104
0.0104

Total pressure
Manometer, h11
(mm)
0.0138
0.0138
0.0138
0.0138
0.0140
0.0140
0.0140
0.0140
0.0140
0.0140
0.0140

h11-h10
(mm)

Velocity, u(y)
(m/s)

u/U

(1-u/U)

(u/U)(1-u/U)

0.0036
0.0036
0.0036
0.0034
0.0036
0.0036
0.0036
0.0036
0.0036
0.0036
0.0036

0.077981
0.077981
0.077981
0.075784
0.077981
0.077981
0.077981
0.077981
0.077981
0.077981
0.077981

0.149866
0.149866
0.149866
0.145643
0.148791
0.148791
0.148791
0.148791
0.148791
0.148791
0.148791

0.850134
0.850134
0.850134
0.854357
0.851209
0.851209
0.851209
0.851209
0.851209
0.851209
0.851209

0.127406
0.127406
0.127406
0.124431
0.126652
0.126652
0.126652
0.126652
0.126652
0.126652
0.126652

## Graph 1: Graph of y vs (1-u/U)

Used to determine displacenent thickness * for 40 mm Length for smooth and rough surface

## Graph 2: Graph of y vs (u/U)(1-u/U)

Used to determine Momentum thickness for 40 mm Length of smooth and rough surface

## Distance from leading edge, l

Free stream velocity, U
Density, (kg/m3)
Dynamic viscosity,
Gravity
(kg/m3)
(kg/m.s)
Re

No.

Micrometer

1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11

0.000
0.001
0.002
0.003
0.004
0.005
0.006
0.007
0.008
0.009
0.010

:
:
:
:
:
:
:
:

0.2721
885
62.5
9.81
1.184
0.00001849
2613.6477

Static pressure
manometer, h10
(mm)
0.0102
0.0102
0.0104
0.0104
0.0104
0.0104
0.0104
0.0104
0.0104
0.0104
0.0104

Total pressure
Manometer, h11
(mm)
0.0132
0.0134
0.0134
0.0136
0.0138
0.0138
0.0138
0.0140
0.0140
0.0140
0.0140

h11-h10
(mm)

Velocity, u(y)
(m/s)

u/U

(1-u/U)

(u/U)(1-u/U)

0.003
0.0032
0.003
0.0032
0.0034
0.0034
0.0034
0.0036
0.0036
0.0036
0.0036

0.071187
0.073522
0.071187
0.073522
0.075784
0.075784
0.075784
0.077981
0.077981
0.077981
0.077981

0.139883
0.143388
0.138835
0.14233
0.145643
0.145643
0.145643
0.148791
0.148791
0.148791
0.148791

0.860117
0.856612
0.861165
0.85767
0.854357
0.854357
0.854357
0.851209
0.851209
0.851209
0.851209

0.120316
0.122828
0.11956
0.122072
0.124431
0.124431
0.124431
0.126652
0.126652
0.126652
0.126652

## Distance from leading edge, l

Free stream velocity, U
Density, (kg/m^3)
Dynamic viscosity,
Gravity
(kg/m3)
(kg/m.s)
Re

No.

Micrometer

1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11

0.000
0.001
0.002
0.003
0.004
0.005
0.006
0.007
0.008
0.009
0.010

:
:
:
:
:
:
:
:

0.2721
885
62.5
9.81
1.184
0.00001849
2613.6477

Static pressure
manometer, h10
(mm)
0.0100
0.0102
0.0102
0.0102
0.0102
0.0102
0.0102
0.0102
0.0102
0.0102
0.0102

Total pressure
Manometer, h11
(mm)
0.0138
0.0140
0.0140
0.0140
0.0140
0.0140
0.0140
0.0140
0.0140
0.0140
0.0140

h11-h10
(mm)

Velocity, u(y)
(m/s)

u/U

(1-u/U)

(u/U)(1-u/U)

0.0038
0.0038
0.0038
0.0038
0.0038
0.0038
0.0038
0.0038
0.0038
0.0038
0.0038

0.080118
0.080118
0.080118
0.080118
0.080118
0.080118
0.080118
0.080118
0.080118
0.080118
0.080118

0.153972
0.152869
0.152869
0.152869
0.152869
0.152869
0.152869
0.152869
0.152869
0.152869
0.152869

0.846028
0.847131
0.847131
0.847131
0.847131
0.847131
0.847131
0.847131
0.847131
0.847131
0.847131

0.130265
0.1295
0.1295
0.1295
0.1295
0.1295
0.1295
0.1295
0.1295
0.1295
0.1295

## Graph 3: Graph of y vs (1-u/U)

Used to determine displacenent thickness * for 150 mm Length of smooth and rough surface

## Graph 4: Graph of y vs (u/U)(1-u/U)

Used to determine Momentum thickness for 150 mm Length of smooth and rough surface

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## Flat Plate Boundary Layer

DISCUSSIONS:
As we refer to the all graph, the smooth plate looks better than rough surface because the
friction occurs at the surface of the plate can influence the flow either its laminar flow or
turbulent flow. The differences between laminar and turbulence flow of fluid on the flat surface
can be seen on the graph that have been plotted. The roughness of the surfaces affects by the
values of the pressures. Greater value of was obtained when the plane is smooth while the
value becomes lesser when the distance from the edge of the plate is further.
The free stream velocity calculated was based on the roughness or smoothness of the
surfaces. Laminar flat plat eventually becomes turbulent but there is no unique value for this
change to occur. When the surface is smooth, the transition of laminar to be turbulent will delay.
However when the surface is rough, the transition of laminar to become turbulent will be quick as
there are small disturbances in the velocity profiles that make the flow easily pass through it. The
differences of the profiles showed on the graph plotted.
From this experiment also, we can obtained the value of displacement thickness, * and
displacement of the momentum, by calculate the area below the line. The area below the graph
y vs. (1-u/U) is use to determine the experiment displacement thickness and the area below the
graph y vs. (u/U) (1-u/U) is use to determine the experiment displacement momentum.
CONCLUSIONS:
As the conclusion, we can examine that some condition from the experiment. The effects
of viscous friction are then important over the whole cross section of the tube and all adjacent
layers of fluids slide over each other. The length of the entrance region of the pipe necessary for
fully developed flow to establish is called the transition length.
We also can said that the experiment is doing successfully and only certain minor error
that can not be avoided such as error due to the apparatus that deal with air. It is because we cant
see the air flow with naked eye. If we try to use water as fluid to be study in this experiment may
be we can have much better view in boundary layer. The human error also can affect the
effectiveness of this experiment.
REFERENCES:

1. Frank M. White, Fluid Mechanics, 5th Edition, Mc Graw Hill, New York, USA, 2003.
2. Bruce R. Munson, Donald F. Young, Theodore H. Okiishi, Fundementals of Fluid
Mechanics, 5th Edition, John Wiley & Sons, Asia,2006.
3. John F. Douglas, Janusz M. Gasiorek, John A. Swaffield, Fluid Mechanics, 4th Edition,
Pearson Prentice Hall, Scotland, 2001.

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