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Transition to chaotic Taylor-Couette flow in shear-thinning fluids

Abstract : In a recent paper, Esmael et al. [1] have studied the transition to turbulence in a pipe flow for non-Newtonian fluids. They have shown that a weak turbulence can be generated by the shear-thinning behavior of the fluid. A shear thinning fluid is a fluid for which the viscosity decreases non-linearly with increasing the shear rate. In this study, we confirm this result through a different geometrical configuration. We present experimental results on the stability of Couette flow with a wide gap (radius ratio η = R 1 /R 2 = 0.4) for aqueous xanthan gum solutions (shear-thinning fluid and very weakly elastic). For sufficiently high concentrations, the flow becomes chaotic from Re = 1.5 Re c where Re c is the critical Reynolds number of the primary bifurcation. For a Newtonian fluid (glycerol solution), Taylor vortices remain stable up to Re ≈ 7.3Re c before bifurcating towards the wavy regime. A preliminary theoretical work based on linear and weakly nonlinear approaches is performed in order to determine the critical Reynolds number of the primary bifurcation as well as the nature of this bifurcation
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Seyed Amir Bahrani, Chérif Nouar, Alain Neveu, Simon Becker. Transition to chaotic Taylor-Couette flow in shear-thinning fluids. 22ème Congrès français de mécanique, Association française de mécanique; Georges Jacquet-Richardet Aug 2015, Lyon, France. ⟨hal-01449501⟩

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