Torque measurement in turbulent Couette-Taylor flows

Abstract : The flow between two concentric cylinders, i.e., the Couette-Taylor flow, has been investigated when only the inner cylinder rotates. Four set-ups have been employed with 4 values of the radius ratio. Flow visualisations have been performed to analyse the evolution of the flow patterns with the Reynolds number, Re. The variation of the torque acting on the inner cylinder with different parameters has been quantified using the pseudo-Nusselt number, which measures the rate of energy dissipation in the flow.At low Re, the flow is laminar and azimuthal, and the torque is proportional to Re. Above a critical value of Re, Taylor vortices emerge in the flow and the slope of the torque changes drastically. At high values of Re, the vortices become turbulent and the increase rate of torque is enhanced due to the energy dissipation of turbulence. The torque measured up to Re=45 000 depends on the radius ratio of the cylinders and on the number of vortices. Below the ultimate regime of turbulence, flows containing larger number of vortices exert larger levels of torque; above it, flows containing larger number of vortices exert lower levels of torque.A specific study of the torque exerted on the inner cylinder has been carried out with viscoelastic fluids made of large-weight-molecule polymers. If acceleration-deceleration cycles of the rotation of the inner cylinder are applied, the torque exhibits a hysteretic loop, which increases with the polymer concentration. The statistics of the elastic turbulence fluctuations have been analysed. A special focus was made on the torque induced by the solitary vortices obtained in the deceleration phase, before the flow relaminarisation.
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Borja Martínez Arias. Torque measurement in turbulent Couette-Taylor flows. Fluids mechanics [physics.class-ph]. Université du Havre, 2015. English. ⟨NNT : 2015LEHA0004⟩. ⟨tel-01215465⟩

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