Critique on “A Revisit of Navier-Stokes Equation”

Ganesh Natarajan, Mahesh Natarajan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In a recently published work (Sheng, 2020), Sheng identified inconsistencies in the concepts and principles leading to the Navier–Stokes equations and proposed a new asymmetric “friction tensor” to resolve these inconsistencies. We show that this friction tensor can be interpreted as the non-isotropic part of a vorticity-influenced viscous stress tensor following the analysis in Berdahl and Strang (1986). The asymmetric stress tensor however violates the principles of mechanical equilibrium in fluid flows that are free of external or body couples and is therefore non-physical in classical continuum hydrodynamics. We refute the arguments in favour of the asymmetric stress tensor in Sheng (2020) whilst also demonstrating that the friction tensor leads to the incorrect form of the Navier–Stokes equations in non-Cartesian co-ordinates and its ability to recover the correct governing equations in Cartesian co-ordinates is fortuitous.
Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)21-23
Number of pages3
JournalEuropean Journal of Mechanics, B/Fluids
StatePublished - 2021

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/JA-2C00-77881


  • asymmetric
  • friction
  • Navier-Stokes
  • stress tensor
  • vorticity


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