Experiments in Fluids

, 40:422 | Cite as

Laser reflection method for determination of shear stress in low density transitional flows

  • Sarith P. Sathian
  • Job Kurian
Research Article


The details of laser reflection method (LRM) for the determination of shear stress in low density transitional flows are presented. The method is employed to determine the shear stress due to impingement of a low density supersonic free jet issuing out from a convergent divergent nozzle on a flat plate. The plate is smeared with a thin oil film and kept parallel to the nozzle axis. For a thin oil film moving under the action of aerodynamic boundary layer, the shear stress at the air–oil interface is equal to the shear stress between the surface and air. A direct and dynamic measurement of the oil film slope generated by the shear force is done using a position sensing detector (PSD). The thinning rate of the oil film is directly measured which is the major advantage of the LRM. From the oil film slope history, calculation of the shear stress is done using a three-point formula. The range of Knudsen numbers investigated is from 0.028 to 0.516. Pressure ratio across the nozzle varied from 3,500 to 8,500 giving highly under expanded free jets. The measured values of shear, in the overlapping region of experimental parameters, show fair agreement with those obtained by force balance method and laser interferometric method.


Shear Stress Wall Shear Stress Stagnation Pressure Measured Shear Stress Position Sense Detector 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Aerospace EngineeringIndian Institute of Technology MadrasChennaiIndia

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