Prepared by
Mohammad Fazlur Rahman
Asst. Professor (AERO)
B. S. Abdur Rahman University
This document contains the basic information regarding the subject matter
Heat Transfer. The effort is made to help the students getting exposure to
the subject as well as understand the basic and fundamental behaviour of
the heat transfer phenomenon. It must be noted that this document in no way
can avoid the use of text books. For the detailed and deep understanding of
the subject matter students must refer the text books. While providing
information the syllabus of the B. S. Abdur Rahman University has been
targeted.
Forced
Convection over a
Flat Plate
Contents
Introduction ............................................................................................................................ 2
Drag and Heat Transfer in External Flow ..................................................................... 3
Friction Drag and Pressure Drag ..................................................................................... 4
Parallel Flow over Flat Plate ............................................................................................. 6
Friction Coefficient .......................................................................................................... 7
Heat Transfer Coefficient .............................................................................................. 9
Special Cases ....................................................................................................................... 11
Flat Plate with Unheated Starting Length ............................................................... 11
Uniform Heat Flux .......................................................................................................... 11
Page 1
Heat Transfer
(Forced Convection over a Flat Plate)
Introduction
After having studied the forced convection and having solved the equations involved in it, now
is the time to tackle different cases to discuss and see how the same finding can be used for the
various cases.
The forced convection differs from the natural one only in the case of flow as how the flow
takes place and which is the driving force which affects the flow and its behaviour. First of all
it must be noted that so called free convection is not that in which there is not force acting. The
force acting in it to cause the bulk motion to occur is the natural force of buoyancy and hence
it is more appropriate to call it a natural convection rather than free convection. Now whatever
the flow we have studied in our previous level courses like Fluid Mechanics and Aerodynamics,
they all contain flow of fluid and thats all are actually forced flow. So there is a clear analogy
in the governing equations of forced convection and flows in fluid mechanics and
aerodynamics. The only difference is the energy equation which involves thermal energy
instead of kinetic energy and flow energy.
The forced flow convection process can be further divided into two parts 1. External flow and
2. Internal flow. External flows are the cases when fluid is in contact with one of the solid
surface and other surface of the fluid is free and is in contact with free air. In the case of internal
flow, the entire fluid surface is surrounded by the solid surface and this flow is highly affected
by the viscous effect of the fluid. We have a third type also which is not classified as a separate
class though, in this type of flow top and bottom of the fluid boundary is in contact with the
solid surface and flow takes place in between them. It is known as Couette Flow.
Page 2
Page 3
Page 4
We normally deal with the coefficients of the forces. So the drag force for the pressure and
Page 5
The transition of the flow from laminar to turbulent flow depends upon the surface geometry,
surface roughness, upstream velocity, surface temperature, and the type of fluid among some
more other things. It is best characterised by the Reynolds number which is expressed as below:
=
So the value of Reynolds number rises as the location under consideration goes away from the
leading edge. The transition of the flow from laminar to turbulent takes place at about =
1 105 but becomes fully developed turbulent flow typically around = 3 106 . In
engineering a general value accepted for the critical Reynolds number is 5 105 which gives
turbulent flow in any case. Actually under controlled condition the flow can be maintained to
be laminar up to a maximum value of Reynolds number equal to 5 105 .
=
Page 6
Friction Coefficient
We have already derived the expressions for the boundary layer flow over a flat plate. We can
use them here for finding the friction coefficient.
For the laminar flow:
, =
4.91
1 2
and
, =
0.664
< 5 105
1 2
0.38
and
1 5
, =
0.059
1 5
The boundary layer thickness is directly proportional and friction coefficient is inversely
proportional to 12 . Therefore at the leading edge where = 0 boundary layer thickness will
be zero while friction coefficient is supposedly infinite. Friction coefficient thereafter decreases
by a factor of 12 in the flow direction. The local friction coefficient are higher in turbulent
flow than in laminar flow owing to the intense mixing that occurs in turbulent boundary layer.
In the transition region the friction coefficient increases till it becomes highest in the fully
grown turbulent region. Thereafter it starts decreasing by a factor of 15 in the flow direction.
The average friction coefficient over the entire plate is determined by integrating the local
friction coefficient over the entire length of the plate.
For laminar region:
1
1 0.664
= , = 12
0
0
12
0.664
( )
()12 =
0
0.664
( )
12
12
1
2

0
12 .
= 1.33 ( )
=
For Turbulent region:
1
1 0.059
= , = 15
0
0
Page 7
15
0.059
( )
()15 =
0
0.059
( )
15
45
4
5

0
15 .
= 0.074 ( )
=
So if the flow is entirely laminar or entirely turbulent then we can find the friction coefficient
as per the expressions obtained above. Sometimes the plate is very long and in this case though
both the types of flow will exist on the surface, laminar flow friction coefficient can be ignored
and only turbulent flow can be estimated to find the total friction coefficient. If the plate is long
enough to have a turbulent region but not long enough to ignore the laminar region then the
average friction coefficient can be found using the concept given below:
1
= ( , + , )
0
The transition region is small enough to be included in the turbulent region. Now again taking
the critical Reynolds number to be = 5 105 and then substituting the critical length in
the above expression and integrating it over the entire plate after the critical length will give
that:
=
5 105 107
The constants in this relation will be different for the different critical Reynolds numbers. Also,
the surfaces are assumed to be smooth, and the free stream to be turbulent free. For laminar
flow, the friction coefficient depends on only the Reynolds number, and the surface roughness
has no effect. For turbulent flow, however, surface roughness causes the friction coefficient to
increase several fold, to the point that in fully turbulent region the friction coefficient is a
function of surface roughness alone, and independent of the Reynolds number. That is the
case of pipe flow.
Page 8
A curve fit of experimental data for the average friction coefficient in this regime is given by
Schilchting as
Rough surface, turbulent:
.
(. . )
where is the surface roughness, and L is the length of the plate in the flow direction. In the
absence of a better relation, the relation above can be used for turbulent flow on rough surfaces
for > 106 , especially when > 104
= 0.332 0.5
1 3
5 105 )
= 0.0296 0.8
1 3
5 105 107 )
(Note: Remember we have no solution for the flow with Prandtl number less than 0.6. For the Prandtl number
equal to 1 we get a selfsimilar flow in which velocity boundary layer coincides with the thermal boundary layer.)
Page 9
The average Nusselt number over the entire plate is determined by integrating the expression
for the entire length of the plate and then dividing it by the length itself. By doing so we find
the below equations.
For Laminar Boundary Layer
=
= 0.664 0.5
1 3
5 105 )
= 0.037 0.8
1 3
5 105 107 )
The equation for the laminar boundary layer gives the heat transfer coefficient for the entire
plate when the flow is laminar over the entire plate. The second relation gives the average heat
transfer coefficient for the entire plate only when the flow is turbulent over the entire plate.
Sometimes when the laminar region is too small relative to the turbulent flow region, the
turbulent flow equation can be applied to the entire plate and accepting a little compromise in
the accuracy.
In some other cases when the plate is sufficiently long for the flow to become turbulent, but
not long enough to disregard the laminar flow region, the average heat transfer coefficient over
the entire plate must be estimated using both the
relation over the appropriate regions.
1
= ( , + , )
0
1/3
= (0.037 0.8
871)
for (
In the above case it has been assumed flow over the plate is partly laminar initially and partly
turbulent afterward. Above relation depends upon the critical Reynolds number and for
different value of critical Reynolds number it will be different.
Page 10
Liquid metals such as mercury which have high thermal conductivities, and are commonly used
in the applications that require high heat transfer rates. However they have small Prandtl
numbers, and thus the thermal boundary layer develops much faster than the velocity boundary
layer. Then we can assume the velocity in the thermal boundary layer to be constant at the free
stream value and solve the energy equation. It gives:
1/2
= 0.565( )
< 0.05
Above relation has a limitation of the Prandtl number and will change accordingly as the
Prandtl number changes. It is however desirable to have a single correlation that applies to all
fluids, including liquid metals. By curvefitting existing data, Churchill and Ozoe (1973)
proposed the following relation which is applicable for all Prandtl numbers and is claimed to
be accurate to 1%.
/
.
=
=
[ + (. )/ ]/
These relations have been obtained for the case of isothermal surfaces, but could also be used
for approximately for the case of nonisothermal surfaces by assuming the surface temperature
to be constant at some average value. Also, the surfaces are assumed to be smooth, and the free
stream to be turbulent free. The effect of variable properties can be accounted for by evaluating
all properties at the film temperature.
Special Cases
Flat Plate with Unheated Starting Length
Page 11
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