Hydrodynamic stability of a suspension in cylindrical Couette flow

Mohamed E. Ali*, Deepanjan Mitra, John A. Schwille, Richard M. Lueptow

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

29 Scopus citations


A linear stability analysis was carried out for a dilute suspension of rigid spherical particles in cylindrical Couette flow. The perturbation equations for both the continuous fluid phase and the discontinuous particle phase were decomposed into normal modes resulting in an eigenvalue problem that was solved numerically. At a given radius ratio, the theoretical critical Taylor number at which Taylor vortices first appear decreases as the particle concentration increases. Increasing the ratio of particle density to fluid density above one decreases the stability. However, using an effective Taylor number based on the suspension density and viscosity largely accounts for this effect. The axial wave number is the same for a suspension as it is for a pure fluid. Experiments using neutrally buoyant particles in a Taylor-Couette apparatus show that the flow is more stable as the particle concentration increases. The reason that the theory does not fully capture the physics of the flow should be addressed in future research.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1236-1243
Number of pages8
JournalPhysics of Fluids
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2002

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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


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