Instability of the Flow of Immiscible Liquids with Different Viscosities in a Pipe.
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WISCONSIN UNIV-MADISON MATHEMATICS RESEARCH CENTER
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The authors study the flow of two immiscible fluids of different viscosities and equal density through a pipe under a pressure gradient. This problem has a continuum of solutions corresponding to arbitrarily prescribed interface shapes. The question therefore arises, which of these solutions are stable and thus observable. Experiments have shown a tendency for the thinner fluid to encapsulate the thicker one. This has been explained by the viscous dissipation principle, which postulates that the amount of viscous dissipation is minimized for a given flow rate. For a circular pipe, this predicts a concentric configuration with the more viscous fluid located at the core. A linear stability analysis, which is carried out numerically, shows that while this configuration is stable when the more viscous fluid occupies most of the pipe, it is not stable when there is more of the thin fluid. Therefore the dissipation principle does not always hold, and the volume ratio is a crucial factor.
- Numerical Mathematics
- Fluid Mechanics