Boundary Layer - Heat and Mass Transfer

Heat and Mass Transfer

In 1928, the French engineer André Lévêque observed that convective heat transfer in a flowing fluid is affected only by the velocity values very close to the surface. For flows of large Prandtl number, the temperature/mass transition from surface to freestream temperature takes place across a very thin region close to the surface. Therefore, the most important fluid velocities are those inside this very thin region in which the change in velocity can be considered linear with normal distance from the surface. In this way, for

when, then


where θ is the tangent of the Poiseuille parabola intersecting the wall. Although Lévêque's solution was specific to heat transfer into a Poiseuille flow, his insight helped lead other scientists to an exact solution of the thermal boundary-layer problem. Schuh observed that in a boundary-layer, u is again a linear function of y, but that in this case, the wall tangent is a function of x. He expressed this with a modified version of Lévêque's profile,


This results in a very good approximation, even for low numbers, so that only liquid metals with much less than 1 cannot be treated this way. In 1962, Kestin and Persen published a paper describing solutions for heat transfer when the thermal boundary layer is contained entirely within the momentum layer and for various wall temperature distributions. For the problem of a flat plate with a temperature jump at, they propose a substitution that reduces the parabolic thermal boundary-layer equation to an ordinary differential equation. The solution to this equation, the temperature at any point in the fluid, can be expressed as an incomplete gamma function. Schlichting proposed an equivalent substitution that reduces the thermal boundary-layer equation to an ordinary differential equation whose solution is the same incomplete gamma function.

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