Numerical study on wide gap Taylor Couette flow with flow transition

M. A. Razzak, B. C. Khoo, Kim Boon Lua

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


This study aims to investigate the possible sources of nonaxisymmetric disturbances and their propagation mechanism in Taylor Couette flow for wide gap problems using a direct numerical simulation with a radius ratio of 0.5 and the Reynolds number (Re) ranging from 60 to 650. Here, attention is focused on the viscous layer (VL) thickness in near-wall regions and its spatial distribution along the axial direction to gain an insight into the origin and propagation of nonaxisymmetric disturbances. The results show that an axisymmetric Taylor-vortex flow occurs when Re is between 68 and 425. Above Re = 425, transition from axisymmetric to nonaxisymmetric flow is observed up to Re = 575 before the emergence of wavy-vortex flow. From the variation of VL thickness with Re, the VL does not experience any significant changes in the flow separation region of the inner wall, as well as jet impingement region of both the inner and outer walls. However, a sudden increase in VL thickness in the flow separation region of the outer wall reveals possible sources of nonaxisymmetric disturbances in the flow separation region of the outer wall. These disturbances develop into the periodic secondary flow as the axisymmetric flow transforms into nonaxisymmetric flow, and this leads to the emergence of the azimuthal wave. The periodic secondary flow contributes to a sudden increase in the natural wavelength and rapid reduction in the strength of two counter-rotating Taylor vortices. This in turn leads to a substantial reduction of torque in the transition flow vis-à-vis axisymmetric Taylor-vortex flow.

Original languageEnglish
Article number113606
Pages (from-to)1-23
Number of pages23
JournalPhysics of Fluids
Issue number11
StatePublished - 1 Nov 2019


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