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Mathematical Problems in Engineering
Volume 2010, Article ID 874540, 23 pages
Research Article

Approximate Ad Hoc Parametric Solutions for Nonlinear First-Order PDEs Governing Two-Dimensional Steady Vector Fields

Department of Engineering Sciences, University of Patras, GR 26504, Greece

Received 20 April 2010; Accepted 3 November 2010

Academic Editor: Oleg V. Gendelman

Copyright © 2010 M. P. Markakis. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Through a suitable ad hoc assumption, a nonlinear PDE governing a three-dimensional weak, irrotational, steady vector field is reduced to a system of two nonlinear ODEs: the first of which corresponds to the two-dimensional case, while the second involves also the third field component. By using several analytical tools as well as linear approximations based on the weakness of the field, the first equation is transformed to an Abel differential equation which is solved parametrically. Thus, we obtain the two components of the field as explicit functions of a parameter. The derived solution is applied to the two-dimensional small perturbation frictionless flow past solid surfaces with either sinusoidal or parabolic geometry, where the plane velocities are evaluated over the body's surface in the case of a subsonic flow.