Effect of purely elastic flow instability on molecular conformation and drag

B. Sadanandan, R. Sureshkumar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Linear stability analysis has shown that viscoelastic creeping flow of an Oldroyd-B liquid through a sinusoidal channel is unstable to stationary, wall-localized and short wavelength perturbations [B. Sadanandan, R. Sureshkumar, Global linear stability analysis of non-separated viscoelastic flow through a periodically constricted channel, J. Non-Newtonian Fluid Mech. 122 (2004) 55]. In this work, time-dependent simulations are performed to determine the nonlinear evolution of finite amplitude disturbances in the post-critical flow regime. It is shown that a nonlinear transition, which is facilitated by a supercritical pitchfork bifurcation, establishes a finite amplitude state (FAS) in which the average polymer stretch is highly modulated. The maximum normal stress, observed at the channel nip, can increase by up to approximately 100% when the Weissenberg number, defined as the ratio of the fluid relaxation time to an inverse characteristic shear rate, is increased by only 10% beyond its critical value. This is attributed to the amplification of configurational perturbations by the base flow shear rate, which attains its maximum at the channel nip. The effect of finite chain extensibility on the critical condition and nonlinear instability is investigated using the FENE-CR model. The stabilizing effect of finite extensibility can be expressed through a renormalization of the Weissenberg number by accounting for the screening effect of the nonlinear force law on the transmission of configurational perturbations to polymeric stress. The principal features of the FAS are qualitatively model-independent. The FAS exhibits a small, but numerically perceptible increase in the friction factor as compared to the base flow. The implication of the findings on the experimentally observed flow resistance enhancement phenomenon in viscoelastic creeping flows through converging/diverging geometries is discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)108-119
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Non-Newtonian Fluid Mechanics
Issue number1-3
StatePublished - Dec 30 2006
Externally publishedYes


  • Drag
  • Nonlinear stability analysis
  • Periodic
  • Sinusoidal
  • Viscoelastic

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Chemical Engineering
  • General Materials Science
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Applied Mathematics


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