boundary layer


boundary layer
the portion of a fluid flowing past a body that is in the immediate vicinity of the body and that has a reduced flow due to the forces of adhesion and viscosity.
[1920-25]

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In fluid mechanics, a thin layer of flowing gas or liquid in contact with a surface (e.g., of an airplane wing or the inside of a pipe).

The fluid in the boundary layer is subjected to shear forces. A range of velocities is established across the boundary layer, from zero (provided the fluid is in contact with the surface) to maximum. Flow in boundary layers is more easily described mathematically than is flow in the free stream. Boundary layers are thinner at the leading edge of an aircraft wing and thicker toward the trailing edge; such boundary layers generally have laminar flow in the leading (upstream) portion and turbulent flow in the trailing (downstream) portion. See also drag.

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      in fluid mechanics, thin layer of a flowing gas or liquid in contact with a surface such as that of an airplane wing or of the inside of a pipe. The fluid in the boundary layer is subjected to shearing forces. A range of velocities exists across the boundary layer from maximum to zero, provided the fluid is in contact with the surface. Boundary layers are thinner at the leading edge of an aircraft wing and thicker toward the trailing edge. The flow in such boundary layers is generally laminar (laminar flow) at the leading or upstream portion and turbulent (turbulent flow) in the trailing or downstream portion. See also laminar flow; turbulent flow.

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Universalium. 2010.

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