Spiral and wavy vortex flows in short counter-rotating Taylor-Couette cells

Olivier Czarny*, Eric Serre, Patrick Bontoux, Richard M. Lueptow

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

26 Scopus citations


Differentially rotating cylinders result in a rich variety of vortical flows for cylindrical Couette flow. In this study we investigate the case of a short, finite-length cavity with counter-rotating cylinders via direct numerical simulation using a three-dimensional spectral method. We consider aspect ratios ranging from 5 to 6. Two complex flow regimes, wavy vortices and interpenetrating spirals, occur with similar appearance to those found experimentally for much larger aspect ratios. For wavy vortices the wave speed is similar to that found for counter-rotating systems and systems in which the outer cylinder is stationary. For the interpenetrating spiral structure, the vortices are largely confined to the unstable region near the inner cylinder. The endwalls appear to damp and stabilize the flow as the aspect ratio is reduced to the point that in some cases the vortical flow is suppressed. At higher inner cylinder speeds, the interpenetrating spirals acquire a waviness and the vortices, while generally near the inner cylinder, can extend all of the way to the outer cylinder.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)5-15
Number of pages11
JournalTheoretical and Computational Fluid Dynamics
Issue number1
StatePublished - Nov 1 2002

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computational Mechanics
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Engineering(all)
  • Fluid Flow and Transfer Processes


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