The Reynolds number Re helps predict flow patterns in different fluid flow situations. At low Reynolds numbers, flows tend to be dominated by laminar sheet-like flow, while at high Reynolds numbers flows tend to be turbulent. The turbulence results from differences in the fluid's speed and direction, which may sometimes intersect or even move counter to the overall direction of the flow eddy currents. These eddy currents begin to churn the flow, using up energy in the process, which for liquids increases the chances of cavitation. Reynolds numbers are an important dimensionless quantity in fluid mechanics. The Reynolds number has wide applications, ranging from liquid flow in a pipe to the passage of air over an aircraft wing. It is used to predict the transition from laminar to turbulent flow, and is used in the scaling of similar but different-sized flow situations, such as between an aircraft model in a wind tunnel and the full size version.
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Friction is the force resisting the relative motion of solid surfaces, fluid layers, and material elements sliding against each other. When surfaces in contact move relative to each other, the friction between the two surfaces converts kinetic energy into thermal energy that is, it converts work to heat. This property can have dramatic consequences, as illustrated by the use of friction created by rubbing pieces of wood together to start a fire. Kinetic energy is converted to thermal energy whenever motion with friction occurs, for example when a viscous fluid is stirred. Another important consequence of many types of friction can be wear , which may lead to performance degradation or damage to components.