Turbulent Taylor–Couette flow with stationary inner cylinder

R. Ostilla-Mónico (Corresponding Author), R. Verzicco, D. Lohse

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A series of direct numerical simulations were performed of Taylor–Couette (TC) flow, the flow between two coaxial cylinders, with the outer cylinder rotating and the inner one fixed. Three cases were considered, where the Reynolds number of the outer cylinder was $Re_{o}=5.5\times 10^{4}$Reo=5.5×104, $Re_{o}=1.1\times 10^{5}$Reo=1.1×105 and $Re_{o}=2.2\times 10^{5}$Reo=2.2×105. The ratio of radii ${\it\eta}=r_{i}/r_{o}$η=ri/ro was fixed to ${\it\eta}=0.909$η=0.909 to mitigate the effects of curvature. Axially periodic boundary conditions were used, with the aspect ratio of vertical periodicity ${\it\Gamma}$Γ fixed to ${\it\Gamma}=2.09$Γ=2.09. Being linearly stable, TC flow with outer cylinder rotation is known to have very different behaviour than TC flow with pure inner cylinder rotation. Here, we find that the flow nonetheless becomes turbulent, but the torque required to drive the cylinders and level of velocity fluctuations was found to be smaller than those for pure inner cylinder rotation at comparable Reynolds numbers. The mean angular momentum profiles showed a large gradient in the bulk, instead of the constant angular momentum profiles of pure inner cylinder rotation. The near-wall mean and fluctuation velocity profiles were found to coincide only very close to the wall, showing large deviations from both pure inner cylinder rotation profiles and the classic von Karman law of the wall elsewhere. Finally, transport of angular velocity was found to occur mainly through intermittent bursts, and not through wall-attached large-scale structures as is the case for pure inner cylinder rotation.
Original languageEnglish
Article number799 R1
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of fluid mechanics
Publication statusPublished - 2016


  • Taylor–Couette flow
  • Turbulence simulation
  • Turbulent convection
  • 2023 OA procedure

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