Absolute and convective instability of cylindrical Couette flow with axial and radial flows

Denis Martinand*, Eric Serre, Richard M. Lueptow

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

31 Scopus citations


Imposing axial flow in the annulus and/or radial flow through the cylindrical walls in a Taylor-Couette system alters the stability of the flow. Theoretical methods and numerical simulations were used to determine the impact of imposed axial and radial flows, homogeneous in the axial direction, on the first transition of Taylor-Couette flow in the framework of convective and absolute instabilities. At low axial Reynolds numbers the convective instability is axisymmetric, but convective helical modes with an increasing number of helices having a helicity opposite that of the base flow dominate as the axial flow increases. The number of helices and the critical Taylor number are affected only slightly by the radial flow. The flow becomes absolutely unstable at higher Taylor numbers. Absolutely unstable axisymmetric modes occur for inward radial flows, while helical absolute instability modes having a helicity identical to that of the base flow occur at high enough axial Reynolds numbers for outward radial flow.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number104102
JournalPhysics of Fluids
Issue number10
StatePublished - 2009

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computational Mechanics
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Fluid Flow and Transfer Processes


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