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Bifurcation Phenomena in Taylor-Couette Flow of Elastic Polymer Solutions

D. G. Satchwell and T. Mullin
Proceedings: Mathematical, Physical and Engineering Sciences
Vol. 457, No. 2015 (Nov. 8, 2001), pp. 2567-2583
Published by: Royal Society
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/3067446
Page Count: 17
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Bifurcation Phenomena in Taylor-Couette Flow of Elastic Polymer Solutions
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Abstract

The results of a detailed study of the four-/six-cell primary flow exchange mechanism in Taylor-Couette flow of viscoelastic fluids are presented. The non-Newtonian fluids were aqueous solutions of low- and high-molecular-weight polyacrylamide. Results demonstrate that steady bifurcation phenomena involving non-trivial non-linear flows are qualitatively unchanged from the Newtonian case for both fluids. Moreover, experimental results obtained with low-molecular-weight polyacrylamide fluid exhibit close agreement with numerical data for the Newtonian case. Interestingly, time-dependent flows of both polymer solutions are radically different to those found in a Newtonian fluid. The principal effect is an extremely long time-scale phenomenon which gives rise to a shift in Hopf bifurcation points at which oscillatory flows arise. We also present evidence for the existence of multiple flow states which depend upon the shear history of the polymer solution. The results provide evidence for a long-term change in the conformation of individual polymer molecules and set a significant challenge for models.

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