Laminar and Turbulent Flow

Created by Harvin Lachhar, 805


For the people who didn't read the title--there are two types of flow for fluids: laminar and turbulent. Laminar flow is regular and smooth, and has low resistance. Objects, such as cars and airplanes, are designed to take advantage of and achieve laminar flow. These objects are aerodynamic. Turbulent flow is the opposite of laminar flow. A grumpy person, if you will. It's choppy and irregular, has rough flow, and makes empty eddies. It's not aerodynamic, and it does have high resistance. Non-aerodynamic shapes usually have straight sides, producing turbulent flow. And they do it at no charge, too! Speaking of no charge, laminar and turbulent flows have practical applications that, if used correctly, can save time, money, and energy.

Examples of Laminar Flow

There are plenty of examples of laminar flow that will be demonstrated. (I'm aware of the simplicity of this statement. Just read on.)

The first example is that healthy human bodies have laminar blood flow. This is important to allow the blood to supply oxygen to all areas quickly. Plaque can build up in arteries to cut off some flow. If the blood flow is turbulent, blood clots will be formed. These clots can block arteries, causing severe health problems such as (un)healthy heart attacks or (not) super special strokes. It can happen. The docs at your local hospital understand this information to save victims. (And because they have to!) From here, just read on.

Examples of Turbulent Flow