Secondary instabilities in the Rayleigh-Bénard convection for shear-thinning fluids

Abstract : In the Rayleigh-Bénard configuration, we consider a thin layer of fluid confined between two horizontal slabs which is heated from below and cooled from above. This layer undergoes an instability if the thermal gradient is strong enough: a transition from the conductive state to the convective state and called _ primary bifurcation _occurs. Moreover, it happens in an ordered way: we can notice the emergence of various convection patterns such as rolls, squares or hexagons. In their turn, these patterns undergo _ secondary instabilities _ that limit the range of stable wavenumbers. These instabilities are studied theoretically _firstly near the threshold thanks to a weakly nonlinear approach, and secondly far from critical conditions thanks to a strongly nonlinear approach. We consider a shear thinning fluid, the most common rheological behavior, which is described by the Carreau model. Near the threshold, two situations are considered: the first corresponds to finite conductivity plates, the second corresponds to a thermodependent fluid. In each case, the influence of the shear thinning effect on the nature of the pattern emerging at the primary bifurcation and on secondary instabilities is highlighted. To study the convection patterns far from the critical conditions, a continuation procedure is used to determine, step-by-step, the characteristics of the flow, such as the velocity or temperature fields and the Nusselt number.
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Thomas Varé. Secondary instabilities in the Rayleigh-Bénard convection for shear-thinning fluids. Mechanics of the fluids [physics.class-ph]. Université de Lorraine, 2019. English. ⟨NNT : 2019LORR0099⟩. ⟨tel-02394040⟩

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