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Effects of Shear Thinning on Taylor-Couette Flow: A Model for Synovial Fluid Flow

[+] Author Affiliations
Nariman Ashrafi

Islamic Azad University, Tehran, Iran

Paper No. PVP2006-ICPVT-11-93379, pp. 251-256; 6 pages
  • ASME 2006 Pressure Vessels and Piping/ICPVT-11 Conference
  • Volume 4: Fluid Structure Interaction, Parts A and B
  • Vancouver, BC, Canada, July 23–27, 2006
  • Conference Sponsors: Pressure Vessels and Piping Division
  • ISBN: 0-7918-4755-1 | eISBN: 0-7918-3782-3
  • Copyright © 2006 by ASME


The effect of shear thinning on the stability of the Taylor-Couette flow (TCF) is explored for a Carreau-Bird fluid in the narrow-gap limit to simulate journal bearings in general. Also considered is the changing eccentricity to cover a wide range of applied situations such as bearings and even articulation of human joints. Here, a low-order dynamical system is obtained from the conservation of mass and momentum equations. In comparison with the Newtonian system, the present equations include additional nonlinear coupling in the velocity components through the viscosity. It is found that the critical Taylor number, corresponding to the loss of stability of the base (Couette) flow becomes lower s the shear-thinning effect increases. Similar to Newtonian fluids, there is an exchange of stability between the Couette and Taylor vortex flows. However, unlike the Newtonian model, the Taylor vortex cellular structure loses its stability in turn as the Taylor number reaches a critical value. At this point, A Hopf bifurcation emerges, which exists only for shear-thinning fluids. Variation of stresses in the narrow gap has been evaluated with significant applications in the non-Newtonian lubricant.

Copyright © 2006 by ASME



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