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Taylor-Couette flow of polymer solutions with shear-thinning and viscoelastic rheology

Cagney, N; Lacassagne, T; Balabani, S; (2020) Taylor-Couette flow of polymer solutions with shear-thinning and viscoelastic rheology. Journal of Fluid Mechanics , Article A28. 10.1017/jfm.2020.701. (In press).

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Abstract

We study Taylor-Couette flow of a glycerol-water mixture containing a wide range of concentration (0-2000 ppm) of xanthan gum, which induces both shear-thinning and viscoelasticity, in order to assess the effect of the changes in rheology on various flow instabilities. For each suspension, the Reynolds number (the ratio of inertial to viscous forces) is slowly increased to a peak value of around 1000, and the flow is monitored continuously using flow visualisation. Shear-thinning is found to suppress many elasticity-controlled instabilities that have been observed in previous studies of viscoelastic Taylor-Couette flow, such as diwhirls and disordered oscillations. The addition of polymers is found to reduce the critical Reynolds number for the formation of Taylor vortices, but delay the onset of wavy flow. However, in the viscoelastic regime (concentration), the flow becomes highly unsteady soon after the formation of Taylor vortices, with substantial changes in the waviness with Reynolds number, which are shown to be highly repeatable. Vortices are found to suddenly merge as the Reynolds number increases, with the number of mergers increasing with polymer concentration. These abrupt changes in wavelength are highly hysteretic and can occur in both steady and wavy regimes. Finally, the vortices in moderate and dense polymer solutions are shown to undergo a gradual drift in both their size and position, which appears to be closely linked to the splitting and merger of vortices.

Type: Article
Title: Taylor-Couette flow of polymer solutions with shear-thinning and viscoelastic rheology
DOI: 10.1017/jfm.2020.701
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/jfm.2020.701
Language: English
Additional information: This version is the author accepted manuscript. For information on re-use, please refer to the publisher’s terms and conditions.
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Engineering Science
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Engineering Science > Dept of Mechanical Engineering
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10115993
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