Influence of fluid thermal sensitivity on the thermo-mechanical stability of the Taylor-Couette flow

D. G. Thomas, R. Sureshkumar, B. Khomami

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Recent theoretical [Al-Mubaiyedh et al., Phys. Fluids 11, 3217 (1999): J. Fluid Mech. 462, 111 (2002)] and experimental [White and Muller, Phys. Rev. Lett. 84, 5130 (2000); J. Fluid Mech. 462, 133 (2002)] studies have revealed that viscous heating causes significant destabilization of the Taylor-Couette flow of highly viscous and thermally sensitive fluids. In this work, the roles of thermal sensitivity of fluid properties and co-rotation on the thermo-mechanical stability of Taylor-Couette flow are investigated theoretically. In turn, our theoretical findings are compared with the recent experimental ones by White and Muller [Phys. Fluids 14, 3880 (2002)]. It is shown that a finite gap temperature is necessary to predict the time-dependent transitions observed in the experiments. A universal scaling between the critical Reynolds number and the Nahme number is obtained for intermediate values of Nahme number ranging from 0.01 to 1.0. Studies are also performed to determine the influence of co-rotation of the outer cylinder relative to the inner one on the thermo-mechanical stability. Overall, a very favorable comparison between theoretical and experimental results is obtained.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3308-3317
Number of pages10
JournalPhysics of Fluids
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 2003
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computational Mechanics
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Fluid Flow and Transfer Processes


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