Gravitationally driven flow of a thin film down an arbitrarily curved wall is analyzed for moderate Reynolds number by generalizing equations previously developed for flow on a planar wall. In the analysis, the ratio of the characteristic film thickness to the characteristic dimension of the wall is presumed small, and terms estimated to be first order in this parameter are retained. Partial differential equations are reduced to ordinary differential equations by the method of von Ka´rma´n and Pohlhausen; namely, an expression for the velocity profile is assumed, and the equation for conservation of linear momentum is averaged across the film. The assumed velocity profile changes shape in the flow direction because a self-similar profile, one of fixed shape but variable magnitude, leads to an equation that typically fails under critical conditions. The resulting equations for film thickness routinely accommodate subcritical-to-supercritical transitions and supercritical-to-subcritical transitions as classified by the underlying wave propagation. The more severe supercritical-to-subcritical transition is manifested by a standing wave where the film noticeably thickens; this standing wave is a simple analogue of a hydraulic jump. Predictions of the film-thickness profile and variations in the velocity profile compare favorably with those from the Navier-Stokes equation obtained by the finite element method.
Laminar, Gravitationally Driven Flow of a Thin Film on a Curved Wall
Contributed by the Fluids Engineering Division for publication in the JOURNAL OF FLUIDS ENGINEERING. Manuscript received by the Fluids Engineering Division June 29, 2001; revised manuscript received June 20, 2002. Associate Editor: J. S. Marshall.
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Ruschak, K. J., and Weinstein, S. J. (January 22, 2003). "Laminar, Gravitationally Driven Flow of a Thin Film on a Curved Wall ." ASME. J. Fluids Eng. January 2003; 125(1): 10–17. https://doi.org/10.1115/1.1522412
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