Streamline, Laminar and Turbulent Flow

Streamline, Laminar and Turbulent Flow

1) Stream Line Flow: Stream line flow of a liquid is that flow in which each element of the liquid passing through a point travels along the same path and with the same velocity as the preceding element passes through that point.

A streamline may be defined as the path, straight or curved the tangent to which at any point gives the direction of the flow of liquid at that point. The two streamlines can’t cross each other and the greater is the crowding of streamlines at a place, the greater is the velocity of liquid particles at that place. Path ABC is streamline as shown in the above figure and\({{v}_{1}}\), \({{v}_{2}}\) and \({{v}_{3}}\) are the velocities of the liquid at A, B and C point respectively.

2) Laminar Flow: If a liquid is flowing over a horizontal surface with a steady flow and moves in the form of layers of different velocities which do not mix with each other, the flow of liquid is called laminar flow.

In this flow, the velocity of liquid flow is always less than the critical velocity of the liquid. The laminar flow is generally used synonymously with streamlined flow.

3) Turbulent Flow: When a liquid moves with a velocity greater than its critical velocity, the motion of the particles of liquid becomes disordered or irregular. Such a flow is called a turbulent flow.

In a turbulent flow, the path and the velocity of the particles of the liquid change continuously and haphazardly with time from point to point. In a turbulent flow, most of the external energy maintaining the flow is spent in producing eddied in the liquid and only a small fraction of energy is available for forward flow. For example, eddies are seen by the sides of the pillars of a river bridge.