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Preferential accumulation of bubbles in Couette-Taylor flow patterns

Climent, Éric and Simonnet, M. and Magnaudet, Jacques Preferential accumulation of bubbles in Couette-Taylor flow patterns. (2007) Physics of Fluids, vol. 1. ISSN 1070-6631

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Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1063/1.2752839


We investigate the migration of bubbles in several flow patterns occurring within the gap between a rotating inner cylinder and a concentric fixed outer cylinder. The time-dependent evolution of the two-phase flow is predicted through three-dimensional Euler-Lagrange simulations. Lagrangian tracking of spherical bubbles is coupled with direct numerical simulation of the Navier-Stokes equations. We assume that bubbles do not influence the background flow (one-way coupling simulations). The force balance on each bubble takes into account buoyancy, added-mass, viscous drag and shear-induced lift forces. For increasing velocities of the rotating inner cylinder, the flow in the fluid gap evolves from the purely azimuthal steady Couette flow to Taylor toroidal vortices and eventually a wavy vortex flow. The migration of bubbles is highly dependent on the balance between buoyancy and centripetal forces (mostly due to the centripetal pressure gradient) directed toward the inner cylinder and the vortex cores. Depending on the rotation rate of the inner cylinder, bubbles tend to accumulate alternatively along the inner wall, inside the core of Taylor vortices or at particular locations within the wavy vortices. A stability analysis of the fixed points associated with bubble trajectories provides a clear understanding of their migration and preferential accumulation. The location of the accumulation points is parameterized by two dimensionless parameters expressing the balance of buoyancy, centripetal attraction toward the inner rotating cylinder, and entrapment in Taylor vortices. A complete phase diagram summarizing the various regimes of bubble migration is built. Several experimental conditions considered by Djéridi et al.1 are reproduced; the numerical results reveal a very good agreement with the experiments. When the rotation rate is further increased, the numerical results indicate the formation of oscillating bubble strings, as observed experimentally by Djéridi et al.2. After a transient state, bubbles collect at the crests or troughs of the wavy vortices. An analysis of the flow characteristics clearly indicates that bubbles accumulate in the low-pressure regions of the flow field.

Item Type:Article
Additional Information:This publication is available on http://pof.aip.org/pof/top.jsp
Audience (journal):International peer-reviewed journal
Uncontrolled Keywords:
Institution:Université de Toulouse > Institut National Polytechnique de Toulouse - INPT (FRANCE)
Other partners > Arcelor Mittal Research (FRANCE)
Université de Toulouse > Université Toulouse III - Paul Sabatier - UPS (FRANCE)
French research institutions > Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique - CNRS (FRANCE)
Laboratory name:
Deposited By: Eric Climent
Deposited On:18 Jun 2009 11:32

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