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This main purpose of this experiment was to measure the boundary layer velocity and to
observe the growth of the boundary layer for the flat plate with smooth and rough surface.
The experiment was done by using test apparatus which is airflow bench that provide
adjustable air stream. The velocity in the experiment was measure by using tools and static
probe that connected to multi-tube manometer. This experiment also was done to study about
the effect of surface roughness on the development of the boundary layer.


In physics and fluid mechanics, a boundary layer is that layer of fluid in the immediate
vicinity of a bounding surface. In the Earth's atmosphere, the planetary boundary layer is the
air layer near the ground affected by diurnal heat, moisture or momentum transfer to or from
the surface. On an aircraft wing the boundary layer is the part of the flow close to the wing.
The boundary layer effect occurs at the field region in which all changes occur in the flow
pattern. The boundary layer distorts surrounding non viscous flow. It is a phenomenon of
viscous forces. This effect is related to the Reynolds number.
Laminar boundary layers come in various forms and can be loosely classified according to
their structure and the circumstances under which they are created. The thin shear layer
which develops on an oscillating body is an example of a Stokes boundary layer, whilst the
Blasius boundary layer refers to the well-known similarity solution for the steady boundary
layer attached to a flat plate held in an oncoming unidirectional flow. When a fluid rotates,
viscous forces may be balanced by the Coriolis effect, rather than convective inertia, leading
to the formation of an Ekman layer. Thermal boundary layers also exist in heat transfer.
Multiple types of boundary layers can coexist near a surface simultaneously.


1. To measure the boundary layer velocity layer and observed the growth of the
boundary layer for the flat plate with smooth and rough surface.
2. To measure the boundary layer properties for the measured velocity profile
3. To studied the effect of surface roughness on the development of the boundary layer



The boundary layer thickness, is used for a thickness beyond which the velocity is
essentially the free-stream velocity U. This is customarily defined as the distance from the
wall to the point where

Figure 1: Boundary layer thickness

The displacement thickness, * the distance by which the solid boundary would have to
be displaced in a frictionless flow the same deficit exists in the boundary layer. The
mathematical definition of the displacement thickness for incompressible flow is given

Figure 2: Displacement thickness

The momentum thickness , is defined as the thickness of the layer fluid velocity, U (free
stream velocity), for which the momentum flux is equal to the deficit of momentum flux
through the boundary layer. Mathematically it is defined as

The equation for velocity measured by pitot tube is given as


The Blasiuss exact solution to the laminar boundary layer yields the following equation for
the above properties

Due to the complexity of the flow, there is no exact solution to the turbulent boundary layer.
The properties of the boundary layer are approximated using the momentum integral equation
which result in the following expression:

Another measured of the boundary later 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 layer, H increase from 1.3 to approximately 2.5 at separation.

When a viscous uid ows along a xed impermeable wall, or past the rigid surface
of an immersed body, an essential condition is that the velocity at any point on the wall or
other xed surface is zero. The extent to which this condition modies the general character
of the ow depends upon the value of the viscosity. If the body is of streamlined shape and if
the viscosity is small without being negligible, the modifying eect appears to be conned
within narrow regions adjacent to the solid surfaces; these are called boundary layers.
Within such layers the uid velocity changes rapidly from zero to its main-stream
value, and this may imply a steep gradient of shearing stress; as a consequence, not all the
viscous terms in the equation of motion will be negligible, even though the viscosity, which
they contain as a factor, is itself very small. A more precise criterion for the existence of a
well-dened laminar boundary layer is that the Reynolds number should be large, though not
so large as to imply a breakdown of the laminar ow.



1. The experiment was started with plate which have the smooth surface
2. The position of the central plate was adjusted to set the measurement plate at the
required distance from leading edge of 50mm
3. The fan was switched on and the air flow speed was set with air stream velocity at
medium speed
4. The reading of the total pressure of the pitot tube was taken at an interval of 0.25mm
5. The velocity profile was clearly define with reducing the increment of the advanced
directly with the pressure fall
6. The step of 2 to 4 was repeated with measurement plane at 200mm
7. The entire experiment was repeated with plate of rough surface


Experimental apparatus

1. Airflow bench is provide adjustable air stream which enables a series of experiment to
be connected
2. Test apparatus is consists of rectangular duct with flat plate. One side of the plate is
smooth and other rough. Pitot tube tip is set in the zero plane of scale. By moving the
plate up and down, the leading edge can be set to given distance from pitot tube tip.
3. Micrometer scale is to measure the displacement of pitot tube from wall
4. Velocity measurement is velocity measured using total and static probes which is
connected to multi-tube manometer.

Pitot tube
Rough plate

Plate holder

Smooth plate



1. Boundary layer, Retrieved 7, October, 2014 from

Yunus A.Cengal, John M.Cimbala, Fluid Mechanics , Third Edition in SI Unit, Mc
Graw Hill Education, 2014, page 555 577.

2. Boundary Layer on a Flat Plate, Retrieved 7, October, 2014 from


3. Boundary layer, Retrieved 7, October, 2014 from


4. Boundary layer thickness, Retrieved 7, October, 2014 from


5. Laminar and Turbulent Boundary Layers, Retrieved 7, October, 2014 from