Determination of general relations for the behavior of turbulent boundary layers

Von Doenhoff, Albert E Tetervin, Neal

An analysis has been made of a considerable amount of data for turbulent boundary layers along wings and bodies of various shapes in order to determine the fundamental variables that control the development of turbulent boundary layers. It was found that the type of velocity distribution in the boundary layer could be expressed in terms of a single parameter. This parameter was chosen as the ratio of the displacement thickness to the momentum thickness of the boundary layer. The variables that control the development of the turbulent boundary layer apparently are: (1) the ratio of the nondimensional pressure gradient, expressed in terms of the local dynamic pressure outside the boundary layer and boundary-layer thickness, to the local skin-friction coefficient and (2) the shape of the boundary layer. An empirical equation has been developed in terms of these variables that, when used with the momentum equation and the skin-friction relation, makes it possible to trace the development of the turbulent boundary layer to the separation point.

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