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In fluid mechanics, external flow is such a flow that boundary layers develop freely, without constraints imposed by adjacent surfaces. Accordingly, there will always exist a region of the flow outside the boundary layer in which velocity, temperature, and/or concentration gradients are negligible. It can be defined as the flow of a fluid around a body that is completely submerged in it.
An example includes fluid motion over a flat plate (inclined or parallel to the free stream velocity) and flow over curved surfaces such as a sphere, cylinder, airfoil, or turbine blade, air flowing around an airplane and water flowing around the submarines.
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