July 31, 2020 at 1:10 pm

Keyur Kanade

Ansys Employee

Potential flows have an irrotational velocity field and it usually an idealized approximation in several real world applications. This velocity field is a function of a scalar - the velocity potential, and for an incompressible flow, the solution is obtained from a simple Laplace equation. Because we ignore the fluid rotationality, the potential flow does not resolve the flow physics for wakes and boundary layers.

An inviscid flow, on the other hand, assumes the fluid to be frictionless. In other words, the viscosity of the fluid is not taken into account and the governing equations of fluid motion simplify to the popular Euler Equations.

I hope this helps you understand the difference between the two types of flows.

Best