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# DIFFERENTIAL

ANALYSIS OF FLUID
MOTION
Lecture Part 2
ME 212
The Velocity Potential
Recall that for irrotational flow, A general flow field would not
w v satisfy these 3 equations, unless

y z u=U(constant), v=0 and w=0.
u w Therefore, a uniform flow field (no
 velocity gradient) is an example of
z x
irrotational flow.
v u

x y
Note:
The Velocity Potential, ф • Velocity potential is a consequence of
irrotationality; while, stream function
For an irrotational flow, it follows is a consequence of conservation of
Velocity components in terms of scalar function • mass.
Velocity potential can be defined in
 x, y, z, t  as general 3-D flow, whereas, a single
stream function is restricted to 2-D
In vector form,
 flows
u V  
x
From conservation of mass for incompressible flow, .V  0

v It follows for incompressible, irrotational flow,
y
  2  0
w
z  2    .  is the Laplacian operator.
In cartesian form :
 2  2  2
 2  2  0 (Laplace' s Equation)
x 2
y z
Potential Flow – inviscid, incompressible, irrotational flow.
Laplace’s Equation governs this type of flow.
If vorticity is not zero (not irrotational flow), Laplace’s eqauation cannot be used.
Figure shows two regions where vorticity is not zero: separated region behind the
bump and the boundary layer next to the solid surface.
Cylindrical coordinates : r, θ, and z
  1    
gradient operator,    er 
ˆ e 
ˆ eˆ z
r r  z
 1  
  eˆ r  eˆ   eˆ z
r r  z
where    r, θ, θ
 1  
vr  v  vz 
r r  z
Laplace's Equation in cylindrical coordinates,
1     1  2  2
r  2  2 0
r r  r  r  2
z
Example: Velocity Potential and Inviscid Flow
The 2-D flow of a non-viscous, incompressible fluid in the vicinity of the 90°corner
is described by the stream function,   2r sin 2
2

Where ψ has units of m2/s when r is in meters. Assume fluid density is 1000
m3/kg and the x-y plane is horizontal, that is, there is no difference in elevation
between points 1 and 2. (1) Determine, if possible, the velocity potential; (2) If the
pressure at point 1 on the wall is 30 kPa, what is the pressure at point 2?
Solution to (1) :
1 
radial component : vr   4r cos 2
r 

tangential component : v    -4r sin 2
r

Also, vr   4r cos 2
r
Integration gives :   2r 2 cos 2  f1  ; where f1    arbitrary function of 
1 
Similarly, v   -4r sin 2
r 
Integration yields :   2r 2 cos 2  f 2 r ; where f 2 r   arbitrary function of r
  2r 2 cos 2  C
Just like in stream function, specific value of C is not important,
and customarily it is taken as C  0.
  2r 2 cos 2
Solution to (2) :
The fact that we find solution for  , the flow is irrotational
From Bernoulli's equation :
p1 V12 p2 V22
  z1    z2
 2g  2g

p2  p1 
2
V 1
2
 V22 
V 2  vr2  v2  4r cos 2   -4r sin 2 
2 2

## This means that velocity at any point

 16r cos 2  sin 2  16r
2 2 2
 2
depends on the radial distance to the
 
2
V12  16s 1 1m   16 2
2 m point.
s

 
2
V22  16s 1 0.5m   4 2
2 m
s
1000 kg m 3
 m 2
m 2

p2  30000 N m  2
16 2  4 2   36 kPa
2  s s 
Some Basic, Plane Potential Flows
For potential flow, basic solutions can be simply added to obtain more complicated
solutions. That is,
1 x,y,z  and 2 x,y,z  are 2 solutions to Laplace's equation,
3  1  3 is also a solution.

## Consider 2-D flow (plane) in In cylindrical coordinates:

Cartesian coordinates:  1 
vr  v 
  r r 
u v 1  
x y vr  v  
r  r
 
u v
y x
For the condition of irrotationality,
u v

y x        
     
In terms of stream function, y  y  x  x 
 2  2
 2 0
x 2
y
Thus, for a plane irrotational flow, velocity potential or stream function can
be use which both satisfy the Laplace’s equation.
As illustrated previously, lines of constant ψ are streamlines;
Equipotential lines: lines of constant ф
Streamlines - lines of constant ψ

The two lines are orthogonal at all points where they intersect.
For two to be orthogonal, the product of their slopes is -1
Uniform Flow
- Simplest plane flow, streamlines
are straight and parallel, velocity
magnitude is constant

u U v0
In terms of velocity potential, In terms of stream function,
   
U 0 U 0
x y y x
Integrate, Integrate,
  Ux  C   Uy
Can be generalized to provide velocity potential and stream function for a
uniform flow at an angle α with the x-axis.

  U x cos   y sin  
  U  y cos   x sin  
Source and Sink
Source or sink represents a purely
Consider a fluid flowing radially outward from a line
through the origin perpendicular to the x-y plane.
Let m be the volume flow rate of flow emanating from
the line (per unit length):
2r vr  m
• If m is positive, the flow is radially
; v  0 for purely radial flow 
m outward and the flow is considered
vr 
2r to be a source flow.
 m 1  • If m is negative, the flow is toward
vr   v  0 the origin and the flow is
r 2r r  considered to be a sink flow.
m • Flow rate m is the strength of the
 ln r Equipotential lines or lines of
2 constant ф are concentric source or sink.
circles centered at the origin
Stream function for the source:

1  m 
vr   v   0
r  2r r
m
  Stream lines or lines of constant ψ are radial lines
2
Example: Potential Flow-Sink
Given a non-viscous, incompressible fluid flow between the wedge-shaped walls
into a small opening as shown in the figure. The velocity potential (in m2/s) that
approximately describes this flow is
   2 ln r
Determine the volume flow rate (per unit length)
into the opening.    2 ln r
 2 1 
vr   v  0
r r r 
q  flow rate per unit width crossing
the arc of length Rπ 6
Integrating,
Note that R is arbitrary since the flow  6  6 2 
q vr Rd  -    Rd  
rate crossing any curve between the two 0 0
R 3
walls must be the same. Negative sign
signifies that the flow is inward toward m2
the opening or negative radial direction.  1.05
s
Vortex Represents a flow in which the
streamlines are concentric circles

Let   K
   K ln r
where : K is constant.
The streamlines are concentric circles.
1   K
vr  0 and v   
r  r r
This suggests that the tangential velocity
varies inversely with the distance from the
origin with singularity occurring at the
origin (r=0) where the velocity becomes
infinite.
Rotation refers to the orientation of the fluid element and not the path
followed by the element.
Vortex can be rotational or irrotational.
• For an irrotational vortex, if a pair of small
sticks as shown in the figure, were placed
in a flow field at location A, the sticks would
rotate as they move to location B.
• The stick aligned along the streamline
would follow a circular path and rotate in
counterclockwise direction.
• The other stick would rotate in clockwise
direction due to the nature of the flow field,
that is, part of the stick nearest the origin
moves faster than the opposite end.
• Although both sticks are rotating, their
average angular velocity is zero since the
flow is irrotational.
If the fluid were rotating as a rigid body, such that vθ = K1r where K1 is
constant, then sticks similarly placed in the flow field would rotate as
illustrated below.
• This type of vortex motion is rotational and
cannot be described with the velocity
potential.
• Rotational vortex is called forced vortex.
• Irrotational vortex is known as free vortex.
• Swirling motion of water as it drains from a
bathtub is similar to a free vortex.
• Motion of liquid contained in a tank that
rotated about its axis with angular velocity
ω corresponds to forced vortex.
Combined vortex is one with forced vortex as a central core and a velocity
distribution corresponding to that of a free vortex outside the core, where
K
v  r r  r0 and v  r  r0
r
K and  are constants and r0 is the radius of central core
Mathematical concept associated
Circulation with vortex motion

## It is defined as the line integral of the tangential component of the

   V. ds velocity taken around a closed curve in the flow field.
C

## where the integral sign is taken around a closed curve, C , in the

counterclockwise direction; ds is a differential length along the curve
For irrotational flow, V   ; V  ds    ds  d
   d  0
C

## This signifies that for an

irrotational flow the circulation
will generally be zero.

## But, if there are singularities enclosed within the curve, the

circulation may not be zero.
But, if there are singularities enclosed within the curve, the
circulation may not be zero.

## For a free vortex with

K
v  around a circular path of radius r
r
2 K
 rd   2K
0 r

K
2

However, for irrotational flow the circulation Velocity Potential and Stream
around any path does not include a singular Function for the Free Vortex
point will be zero. 
 
This can be easily seen and confirmed in the 2
figure for closed path, ABCD by evaluating the 
circulation around the path.    ln r
2
Example: Potential Flow- Free Vortex
A liquid drains from a large tank through a small opening as shown in the figure. A vortex is
formed whose velocity distribution away from the tank opening can be approximated as
that of a free vortex having a velocity potential of    
Determine an expression relating the surface shape to 2π
The strength of the vortex as specified by the circulation Γ.
Free vortex is irrotational flow, the Bernoulli eq :
p1 V12 p2 V22
  z1    z2
 2g  2g
But, at free surface p1  p2  0
V12 V22
 zs  where the free surface elev., z s is measured
2g 2g
relative to a datum point passing thru point 1
1  
v  
r  2r
point 1 is far from the origin, V1  v  0
2
zs   2 2 Equation for the surface profile
8 r g
Formed by an appropriate source-
Doublet sink pair
Consider equal strength of source-sink pair in the figure.
Combined stream function for the pair is,
 2 
  - 1   2   tan    tan 1   2 
m
2  m 
tan 1  tan  2

1  tan 1 tan  2
r sin 
Also, tan 1 
r cos   a
r sin 
tan  2 
r cos   a
 2  2ar sin  m 1  2ar sin  
Substitution yields, tan   2   tan  2 2 
 m  r a
2
2  r a 
For small values of the distance a,
m  2ar sin   marsin
   2 2 
2  r  a  
 r 2  a2 
because the tangent of an angle approaches the value
of the angle for small angles.
A doublet is formed by letting the source and the sink approach one another, that
is, a  0 while increasing the strength m m    so that the product ma/π
remains constant.
In this case, since r/(r2-a2)→1/r, the equation above reduces to:

K sin  ma
  where K  constant   strength of the doublet
r 
K cos 
  velocity potential
r
Plots of lines of
constant ψ reveal
that the streamlines
for a doublet are
circles through the
origin tangent to the
x-axis, as shown in
the figure below.