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INT. COMM. HI~kTI~SS T I ~ 0735-1933/85 $3.00 + .

Vol. 12, pp. 201-208, 1985 @Per@~Press Ltd. Printed in the United States



H. Kalman and R. Letan

Department of Mechanical Engineering
Ben Gurion University of the Negev
Beer Sheva, Israel

(Commnnicated by J.P. Hartnett and W.J. Minkowycz)

Thickness of thermal and velocity boundary laye~ was studied on a
mobile surface of a hypothetical solid sphere. The surface velocity
of the sphere was introduced as a parameter. A relationship of
thickneSS ratio - Prandtl number, { = pr-I/5 was obtained for the
forward part of the sphere in the range Pr = 2-10.


The viscous boundary layer over the solid sphere was studied by Tomotika
[i]. A momentum integral equation was solved for the two-dimensional case of
a sphere in a uniform stream. A velocity profile of a quartic form was used.
Lee and Barrow [2] followed Tomotika's procedure in their study of velocity
and diffusion boundary layers. The fourth order polynomials were selected for
both the velocity and concentration profiles. The conservation integral equa-
tions were solved to yield the boundary layer's thickness on the rigid surface
of a solid sphere.

Presently, the effect of surface-mobility on the boundary layer thickness

is considered on a hypothetical sphere, which has a mobile solid surface. This
"mathematical sphere" is used to separately analyze parameters, and isolate
effects. Physically, the solid sphere with a mobile surface may be interpreted
as a fluid sphere which mechanically exhibits a solid surface against normal
and tangential stresses impressed on it by the flowing fluid. The surface
movement at a prescribed velocity in the flow direction is assumed to be
arbitrarily controlled by forces exerted on the inside of the surface, and
independent of the external flow. Such questions of surface mobility arise
in systems of droplets and bubbles [5] where impurities affect
202 H. Kalman and R. Letan Vol. 12, No. 2

the magnitude of surface tension forces in a quantitatively unpredicted way


Thickness of the Velocity Boundary Layer

The procedure of Tomotika [I] and Lee and Barrow [2] is adopted in the
present study of the thermal and velocity boundary layer thickness. Prescribed
surface velocities ranging from external flow down to an immobile surface are
introduced in the solution as a parameter. A fourth order polynomial is
selected for velocity distribution and Tomotika's boundary conditions are
applied at the edge. However, on the mobile surface of the hypothetical sphere
the velocity is arbitrarily prescribed as a fraction of the external velocity,

u y=o = n
_I U where 1 < n ~ ~ (i)

The momentum e q u a t i o n on t h e s u r f a c e provides an a d d i t i o n a l boundary condition

[1] t o y i e l d the velocity profile.

F o l l o w i n g Eq. (1) we d e f i n e parameters related to the surface mobility,

N = 1-- (2)

and M = (1 = --4- )>, (3)

where ~, i s t h e s h a p e f a c t o r [5] d e f i n e d as,

62 dU
= (4)

Further, a dimensionless quantity, Z, is defined,

62 U
Z = (5)

and a r e l a t i o n s h i p b e t w e e n Z, and t h e shape f a c t o r , ~, i s o b t a i n e d ,

U !
= z -- (6)

Eqs. (5) and (6) are differentiated with respect to O, and together with the
velocity profile introduced into the momentum integral equation to yield,

dZ _ K(~) U + H(~) U" Z2 - K*(~) cos8 U" (7)

dO U-- ~ sin0 U~


K4(%) K3(X)
K(i) = KS(X------
T - ~ KS(i-----T

H(~) = (9)

K*(X) = I - - (I0)


1 378 N2 21 11 1 M2
KI(~ ) = 2-~- [ - ~ - - N - 46 + ~M (~N - ~-) - T6 ] (Ii)

1 1 21 11 1) M
K2(X) = ~ [ i-8M - -~ ( ~ N - __] ~ 02)

2 378 N2 21 11 1 M2
KS(~,) : ~ [ --~--N - 46 + -~- M(~- N - ~-) - ~- ]

+ i-6
i (3N - ~2-
) (i3)

K4() 0 : 2N + ~ M (14)

KS(1) : EI Ki(1) - IK2(1) (i5)

Eq. iT) i s a g e n e r a l e x p r e s s i o n o f t h e boundary l a y e r t h i c k n e s s o v e r t h e

mathematically formulated mobile surface of a s o l i d sphere. The two l i m i t i n g
cases of the general solution correspond therefore to:
The c a s e o f t h e s u r f a c e i n t e r n a l l y moved a t t h e v e l o c i t y o f t h e e x t e r n a l f l o w :
Uy: o : U where n : l , (6:0).

The c a s e o f an immobile s u r f a c e o f a s o l i d s p h e r e : Uy: o : 0 where n : ~ .

Hor t h i s c a s e Eq. (7) c o n v e r g e s t o t h e p a r t i c u l a r s o l u t i o n g i v e n by Tomotika
[1]. Thus, f o r n: Eqs. (2) - (5) y i e l d N : I , M=k. Then t h e c o e f f i c i e n t s of
Eq. ( 7 ) , K(I), H(t), K*(k), become i d e n t i c a l with Tomotika's f(t), g(1), and
f*(l), ( T o m o t i k a ' s Eqs. (12 a, b, c ) ) r e s p e c t i v e l y .

Solving for a potential flow f i e l d o u t s i d e t h e boundary l a y e r Eq. (7)

reforms to :

dZ _ 2 K(X) 1 5 MiX) s i n e , Z 2 2 1
de 3 sine 2 - -~ K*(t) --sine (16)

= k a t e : 0, and we o b t a i n ,
204 H. Kalman and R. Letan Vol. 12, No. 2

K(~ o ) - K*(~o) = 0 (17)

The a b o v e e q u a t i o n h a s t o b e s o l v e d f o r s p e c i f i c values o f n. The s o l u t i o n ,

~o' i s further used to obtain, Z(e=0) = Zo ,

Zo = ~ ~o (18)

These values ~o' Zo' a r e t h e n a p p l i e d in solution o f Eq. (16) to yield, Z(O),

with, n, as a p a r a m e t e r . The n u m e r i c a l solution is illustrated in Fig. 1, f o r
n = 3, 9, 15, 21, =. At n = 1 t h e r e i s no v e l o c i t y boundary layer; thus, Z = 0
(6=0). At n = ~, T o m o t i k a ' s solution is obtained for the solid sphere of
immobile surface, Zo = 5 . 1 4 4 0 and ~o = 4 . 7 1 6 0 1 . In t h e r a n g e 3 ~ n ~ = we
obtain Z = 2.5-5.5 at 8 = 0. V a l u e s o f Z = 5-6 a r e r e a c h e d a t e = 70 . As t h e
point of separation is approached, the boundary layer thickness increases

Z n=21

2 -- n=3 9 15

_ rl=l
O0 1 1 1 [ I I i I I I I k/ I I I I I I I I
20 40 e 60 80 I00

FIG. 1
Effect of surface mobility on thickness of velocity boundary layer.

T h i c k n e s s R a t i o o f T h e r m a l and V e l o c i t y Boundary Layers

Calculation of the thermal boundary layer thickness involves the energy

integral equation, and the temperature profile in the boundary layer. The
T - To
temperature profile expressed in its dimensionless form T= _ To is similar

to the velocity profile. The boundary conditions are:

aT a2T and a t y = 0: T = To, a2T - 0 (19)

at y = 6t: T = T=, ~ y = aY2 , aY2

The temperature distribution is obtained as,

T - T O = 2( ~t ) - 2( ~it 13 + ( ~ ) 4 (201
T - TO

Utilizing it in the energy integral equation leads to,

1 d [rUd HI(%,~) ] 2~ (21)

Rd0 = 6-~

where, g = 6 t / ~ , and, H l ( k , ~ ) , i s d e f i n e d as

3 (1 - N)g + 1 1M)~2 1 1 3 M)g4

HI(X'E) = TO ~ (2N + ~ - 8-4 Mg3 140 (3N -

1 (N - 1 M)~5 (22)
Differentiation of Eqs. (21) and (22), introduction of the dimensionless
variable Z (Eq. 51, and its derivative (dZ/dO), and application of the poten-
tial flow field yield,

d~ = i {___LI coso HI(~,~).~. cos0 1 Hl(l,~ ) 1 dZ

dO H2(X,~) ~.Pr sin0 sin0 4 "~'~'d-E-

3 dZ 3
- ~ H 3 ( g ) ~-~cos0 + ~ H 3 ( ~ ) . Z . s i n 0 } (231

where, H2, and H3, are d e f i n e d as,

HZ(X,~) = ~ 3 (I-N)-~ + ~ 1 (2N + ~1 M ) . g 2 - ~-6-M-~

1 3

- --3 (N - 1M).~4 + 1 (N - 1
70 T 72- E M)~S (24)

1 3 1 4 3 5 i 6 M
H3(~) = ( i-~'~ - 168.~ + i-~-~'~ - 2160"~ )-~ (25)

Eq. (231 reduces to,

Hl(Xo,~o)-Xo.~ = p--~ at e : 0 (26)

Eq. (231 has to be simultaneously solved with (dZ/d0), Eq. (16), to yield the
thickness ratio, $, of the thermal and velocity boundary layers. Lee and
Barrow [2] obtained the thickness ratio on a rigid sphere using Tomotika's [I]
procedure for the velocity boundary layer thickness. Our solution (Eqs. (16)
and (23)) converges to the particular solution of Lee and Barrow [2] at, n = ~,
for the case of ~ > ~t"
206 H. Kalman and R. Letan Vol. 12, No. 2

The simultaneous solution of Z(O) and ~(0) (Eqs. (16) and (23)) has been
numerically conducted for specific values of the parameter, n, and Prandtl
numbers. Fig. 2 plotted with n = 3, 9, 15, ~ at Pr = 4 illustrates the
moderate slope of ~ vs. 0, from the forward stagnation point down to @ = 70 .
The slope becomes steeper as the point of separation is approached. The rela-
tionship is approximately ~Pr I/3 = 0.96 - 1.12. The quantity, ~.Pr 1/3 =i.12,
at, n = ~, coincides with the Lee and Barrow [2] solution for the rigid sphere


I.I - 15

~ . pr 1/3 -

l.O-- n=3

i t i I i I I I I I I I = I I I I t I I
0 20 40 e 60 80 I00

FIG. 2
Variation of boundary layer thickness ratio with surface mobility.

Lee and B a r r o w ' s [2] s o l u t i o n f o r a r i g i d s p h e r e (n==) i s p l o t t e d in Fig.

3 w i t h P r a n d t l number as p a r a m e t e r . The r e l a t i o n s h i p a t t h e forward p a r t o f

t h e s p h e r e i s a g a i n ~Pr 1/3 = 1.1 - 1.15.

Rigid sphere [2]

Pr= 2
~. Pr

i..~ IQ
I I J I J l I I I I I J J I I I t I I I

0 20 40 e 60 80 I00

FIG. 3
V a r i a t i o n o f boundary l a y e r t h i c k n e s s r a t i o on a r i g i d s p h e r e [2].

Fig. 4 illustrates our solution of the thickness ratio, 6, for the mobile

surface. Here again ~prl/3 = 0.9 - 1.06, a t n = 3, i n t h e r a n g e Pr = 2 - 10.

1.0 4

i m m I
t t t I I
i (9
~ i I i
I i [ I
80 I00

FIG. 4
yariation of boundary layer thickness ratio with Prandtl n u m b e r on a
mobile surface.

Figs. 2-4 have demonstrated the relationship Eprl/3 = 0.9 - 1.15, in the range
of 3 ~ n ~ ~, and 2 ~ Pr ~ I0 over the forward portion of the sphere. The
practical conclusion is therefore that the thickness ratio of the thermal and
velocity boundary layers on a aobile or immobile surface of a solic sphere,
and within the investigated range of Prandtl numbers (2-10), may be expressed
by the relationship, ~ = Pr -I/3, over the forward part of the sphere. The
approximation of 10% is acceptable in view of the uncertainties involved in
determining the surface mobility. The practical applications are to be found
in systems of fluid spheres where impurities control the surface mobility.


Thickness of the velocity boundary layer, and the thickness ratio of the
thermal-velocity boundary layers were obtained as functions of surface mobility
and Prandtl number. Both decreased with the increased surface velocity and
Prandtl number. In the limiting case of an immobile surface the generalized
solution converged to the particular solution of a rigid sphere, as found in
the literature. The thickness ratio over the forward part of the sphere in
the range of Prandtl numbers 2-10, obeyed the relationship of ~ = Pr -I/3.


R radius of the sphere

r radius of the t r a n s v e r s e cross-section of the sphere
T temperature in boundary layer
To= free stream temperature
To temperature of sphere surface
208 H. Kalrag_n and R. Letan Vol. 12, No. 2

U velocity at edge of boundary layer

U' = dU/d0
U velocity far away from the sphere
u velocity in the boundary layer
x distance along the sphere from the forward stagnation point
y distance normal to surface
Pr Prandtl number (v/a)
a thermal diffusivity
thickness of velocity boundary layer
~t thickness of thermal boundary layer
O angle from forward stagnation point
kinematic viscosity
thickness ratio, (~t/~)


1. S. Tomotika, B r i t . Aero. Res. Com. R.M. No. 1678 (1935).

2. K. Lee and H. Barrow, I n t . J . Heat Mass T r a n s f e r , 11, 1013 (1968).

3. R. C l i f t , J.R. Grace and M.E. Weber, Bubbles, Drops and P a r t i c l e s , Academic

P r e s s , New York (1978).

4. Y. L e r n e r , H. Kalman and R. L e t a n , 5ymp. Vol. Basic Aspects o f Two Phase

Flow and Heat T r a n s f e r , p. 1, 22nd N a t i o n a l Heat T r a n s f e r Conference,
Niagara Falls (Aug. 1984).

5. H. Schlichting, Boundary Layer Theory, p. 239, McGraw Hill, New York (1979)