Linear Instability Of Laterally Strained Constant Pressure Boundary Layer Flows
The linear instability of laterally diverging/converging flows is an important aspect towards understanding the laminar-transition process in many viscous flows. In this work the linear instability of constant pressure laterally diverging/converging flow has been investigated. The laminar velocity field for laterally diverging/converging flows, under the source/sink approximation, has been reduced to two-dimensional flows. This reduction is alternative to the Mangier transformation used earlier. For a constant pressure laterally strained flow, the laminar velocity is found to be governed by the Blasius equation for flow over a flat plate. The non-parallel linear instability of constant pressure laterally strained flows has been examined. The instability equation is found to be same as that for the Blasius flow. This implies that the stability is same as that for the Blasius flow. A lateral divergence/convergence is shown to alter the Reynolds number from that in a two-dimensional flow. The instability of a laterally converging/diverging flow thus can be obtained from the available results for the Blasius flow by scaling the Reynolds numbers. This leads to the result that while a diverging flow is more unstable than the Blasius flow, a converging flow is more stable. Some additional relevant results are also presented.