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Turbulent flow between counter-rotating concentric cylinders: a direct numerical simulation study

  • S. DONG (a1)

Abstract

We report three-dimensional direct numerical simulations of the turbulent flow between counter-rotating concentric cylinders with a radius ratio 0.5. The inner- and outer-cylinder Reynolds numbers have the same magnitude, which ranges from 500 to 4000 in the simulations. We show that with the increase of Reynolds number, the prevailing structures in the flow are azimuthal vortices with scales much smaller than the cylinder gap. At high Reynolds numbers, while the instantaneous small-scale vortices permeate the entire domain, the large-scale Taylor vortex motions manifested by the time-averaged field do not penetrate a layer of fluid near the outer cylinder. Comparisons between the standard Taylor–Couette system (rotating inner cylinder, fixed outer cylinder) and the counter-rotating system demonstrate the profound effects of the Coriolis force on the mean flow and other statistical quantities. The dynamical and statistical features of the flow have been investigated in detail.

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