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Small Reynolds Number Flow around Flat Plate

  1. May 27, 2010 #1


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    I have a problem I am trying to model analytically (please note: I am NOT a fluid mechanics expert -- I come from a chemistry background):

    A semi-infinite plate is oriented axially in the direction of flow.

    Please refer to the following page for an illustration of my problem:

    The third picture is the Blasius solution, which does not apply at small Reynolds numbers. I am looking for an expression to tell me the thickness of the shaded viscous region from the top two pictures (i.e. - for small Reynolds numbers!) as function of position from the leading edge.

    Any references would be appreciated.

  2. jcsd
  3. May 27, 2010 #2
    What is the fluid, it's velocity and the size of the plate?
  4. May 27, 2010 #3


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    hi RTW:

    the fluid is argon at 1100 degrees celsius (kinematic viscosity 1.6 cm^2/sec) , traveling at 10 cm/s over a square rod (0.635x0.635cm, ~10cm length)

    based on these values, i expect the reynolds number to vary from < 1 near the leading edge to ~60 far from the leading edge.

    the blasius solution is only valid for reynolds numbers greater than about 1000, so i feel safe in assuming that it doesn't apply.
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