Dynamics of the axisymmetric core-annular flow. II. The less viscous fluid in the core, saw tooth waves


Kouris C., Tsamopoulos J.


The nonlinear dynamics of the concentric, two-phase flow of two immiscible fluids in a circular tube is studied when the viscosity ratio of the fluid in the annulus to that in the core of the tube, μ, is larger than or equal to unity. For these values of the viscosity ratio the perfect core-annular flow (CAF) is linearly unstable and it is necessary to keep the ratio of the thickness of the annulus to the radius of the tube small so that the solutions remain uniformly bounded. The simulations are based on a pseudospectral numerical method while special care has been taken in order to minimize as far as possible the effect of the boundary conditions imposed in the axial direction allowing for multiple waves of different lengths to develop and interact. The time integration originates with the analytical solution for the pressure driven, perfect CAF or the perfect CAF seeded with either the most unstable mode or random disturbances. Quite regular wave patterns are predicted in the first two cases, whereas multiple unstable modes grow and remain even after saturation of the instability in the last case. The resulting waves generally travel in the same direction and faster than the undisturbed interface, except for the case with μ=1 for which they are stationary with respect to it. Depending on parameter values, waves move with the same velosity or interact with each other exchanging their amplitudes or merge and split giving rise to either chaotic or organized solutions. For fluids of equal viscosities and densities (μ=ρ-1) and for a Reynolds number, on the properties of the inner fluid, the tube radius, R̂2, and the average flow velocity, Ŵ0, small amplitude waves are predicted. The increase of μ by almost two orders of magnitude does not affect their amplitudes, but increases their temporal period linearly. Varying W by more than three orders of magnitude increases their amplitudes proportionately, while their period increases with the logarithm of W. Similar to that is the effect of increasing Re. The present analysis confirms and extends results based on long wave expansions, which lead to the Kuramoto-Sivashinsky equation and modifications of it. © 2002 American Institute of Physics.


DOI: 10.1063/1.1445417