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Added stresses because of the presence of FENE-P bead–spring chains in a random velocity field

  • HESHMAT MASSAH (a1) and THOMAS J. HANRATTY (a1)

Abstract

FENE-P bead–spring chains unravel in the presence of large enough velocity gradients. In a turbulent flow, this can result in intermittent added stresses and exchanges of energy between the chains and the fluid, whose magnitudes depend on the degree of unravelling and on the orientations of the bead–spring chains. These effects are studied by calculating the average behaviour at different times of an ensemble of chains, contained in a fluid particle that is moving around in a random velocity field obtained from direct numerical simulation of turbulent flow of a Newtonian fluid in a channel. The results are used to evaluate theoretical explanations of drag reduction observed in very dilute solutions of polymers.

In regions of the flow in which the energy exchange with the fluid is positive, the possibility arises that turbulence can be produced by mechanisms other than the interaction of Reynolds stresses and the mean velocity gradient field. Of particular interest, from the viewpoint of understanding polymer drag reduction, is the finding that the exchange is negative in velocity fields representative of the wall vortices that are large producers of turbulence. One can, therefore, postulate that polymers cause drag reduction by selectively changing the structures of eddies that produce Reynolds stresses. The intermittent appearance of large added shear stresses is consistent with the experimental finding of a stress deficit, whereby the total local shear stress is greater than the sum of the Reynolds stress and the time-averaged shear stress calculated from the time-averaged velocity gradient and the viscosity of the solvent.

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Current address: Fluent Inc., 10 Cavendish Court, Lebanon, NH 03766, USA.
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Added stresses because of the presence of FENE-P bead–spring chains in a random velocity field

  • HESHMAT MASSAH (a1) and THOMAS J. HANRATTY (a1)

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