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In fluid dynamics, Couette flow is the flow of a viscous fluid in the space between two surfaces, one of which is moving tangentially relative to the

other. The configuration often takes the form of two parallel plates or the gap between two concentric cylinders. The flow is driven by virtue of

viscous drag force acting on the fluid, but may additionally be motivated by an applied pressure gradient in the flow direction. The Couette

configuration models certain practical problems, like flow in lightly loaded journal bearings, and is often employed in viscometry and to

demonstrate approximations of reversibility.[1] This type of flow is named in honor of Maurice Couette, a Professor of Physics at the French

University of Angers in the late 19th century.

Contents

Planar Couette flow

Startup of Couette flow[3][4]

Couette flow with pressure gradient[5]

Compressible plane Couette flow

Couette flow in rectangular channel

Couette flow between coaxial cylinders

Couette flow between coaxial cylinders of finite length

See also

References

External links

Couette flow is frequently used in undergraduate physics and engineering courses

to illustrate shear-driven fluid motion. The simplest conceptual configuration finds

two infinite, parallel plates separated by a distance . One plate, say the top one,

translates with a constant velocity in its own plane. Neglecting pressure

gradients, the Navier–Stokes equationssimplify to

distribution. This equation reflects the assumption that the flow is uni-directional.

That is, only one of the three velocity components is non-trivial. If y Simple Couette configuration using two infinite flat

originates at the lower plate, the boundary conditions are and plates.

. The exact solution

can be found by integrating twice and solving for the constants using the boundary conditions. A notable aspect of the flow is that shear stress is

constant throughout the flow domain.[2] In particular, the first derivative of the velocity, , is constant. (This is implied by the straight-line

profile in the figure.) According to Newton's Law of Viscosity (Newtonian fluid), the shear stress is the product of this expression and the

(constant) fluid viscosity.

In reality, the Couette solution can't be reached instantaneously

. The startup problem is given by

subject to the initial condition

The problem can be converted to a homogeneous problem by subtracting steady solution and using

separation of variables, the solution is given by

As , the steady Couette solution is recovered. At times , steady Couette solution will be almost reached as shown in the figure.

The time required to reach the steady solution depends only on the spacing between the plates and the kinematic viscosity of the fluid, but not on

how fast the top plate is moved .

A more general Couette flow situation arises when a constant pressure gradient is imposed in a direction parallel to

the plates. The Navier–Stokes equations, in this case, simplify to

where is fluid viscosity. Integrating the above equation twice and applying the boundary conditions (same as in the case of Couette flow without

pressure gradient) to yield the following exact solution

The pressure gradient can be positive (adverse pressure gradient) or negative (favorable pressure gradient). It may be noted that in the limiting case

of stationary plates( ), the flow is referred to asPlane Poiseuille flow with a symmetric (with reference to the horizontal mid-plane) parabolic

velocity profile.

This problem was first addressed by C.R. Illingworth[6] in 1950. In incompressible flow, the velocity

profile is linear because the fluid temperature is constant. When the upper and lower walls are

maintained at different temperatures, the velocity profile is complicated, but it turns out it has an exact

implicit solution.

Consider the plane Couette flow[7] with lower wall at rest and fluid properties being denoted with

subscript and let the upper wall move with constant velocity with properties denoted with

subscript . The properties and the pressure at the upper wall are prescribed and taken as reference

Compressible Couette flow for

quantities. Let be the distance between the two walls. The boundary conditions are

M=0

where is the specific enthalpy and is the specific heat. Conservation of mass and momentum reveals that everywhere in the

flow domain. Conservation of momentum and energy reduce to

where is the wall shear stress, but the whole flow domain takes the same shear

stress similar to the incompressible Couette flow. The flow do not depend on the Reynolds number

, but rather on the Prandtl number and the Mach number Compressible Couette flow for

, where is the thermal conductivity, is the Speed of sound and M^2Pr=7.5

is the Specific heat ratio. It turns out that the said problem can solved implicitly. Introduce the non-

dimensional variables

is the heat transferred per unit time per unit area from the lower wall. Thus are implicit functions of . It is useful to write the

solution in terms of recovery temperature and recovery enthalpy as the temperature of an insulated wall i.e., the value of for which

. Then the solution is

If specific heat is assumed constant, then . When and , then and are constant everywhere, thus

recovering the incompressible Couette flow solution. Except this case, one should know to solve the problem. When and ,

the recovery quantities become unity . There are number of laws to predict for example Sutherland's formula, power law etc. For

air, the values of are commonly used and the results for this case is shown in figure.

Liepmann[8][9] studied the effects of dissociation and ionization (i.e. is not constant) and showed that the recovery temperature is reduced by the

dissociation of molecules and also he studied thehydromagnetics[10] effects on this compressible Couette flow.

One-dimensional flow is valid when both plates are infinitely long in streamwise and spanwise

direction. When the spanwise length is made finite, the flow becomes two-dimensional . The

infinitely long length in streamwise direction still needs to be held to ensure the uni-directional nature

of the flow.

The below problem is due to Rowell and Finlayson (1928).[11] Consider an infinitely long rectangular

channel with transverse height and spanwise width , subjected to the condition that the top wall

moves with a constant velocity . Without any imposed pressure gradient, the Navier-Stokes

equations reduce to

Couette flow for square channel

Using Separation of variables, the solution is given by

When , the classical plane Couette is recovered as shown in the figure. Couette flow with h/l=0.1

Couette flow between coaxial cylinders[12] also known as Taylor-Couette flow is a flow created between two rotating infinitely long co-axial

cylinders. The original problem was solved by Stokes in 1845,[13] but Geoffrey Ingram Taylor's name was attached to the flow because he studied

the stability of the flow in his famous paper[14] in 1923. If the inner cylinder with radius is rotating at a constant angular velocity and the

outer cylinder with radius is rotating at a constant angular velocity , then the velocity in direction is given by

(Note that r has replaced y in this result to reflect cylindrical rather than rectangular coordinates). It is clear from this equation that curvaturefects

ef

no longer allow for constant shear in the flow domain, as shown above.

The classical Taylor-Couette flow problem assumes infinitely long cylinders, but the finite length effects which are encountered in real life are

more pronounced in cylindrical geometry. The flow is still unidirectional and the solution for with cylinder length using separation of

variables or using integral transforms is given by[15]

where are Modified Bessel function of the first kindand Modified Bessel function of the second kindrespectively.

See also

Stokes-Couette flow

Hagen–Poiseuille equation

Taylor–Couette flow

Hagen–Poiseuille flow from the Navier–Stokes equations

References

1. J. P. Heller (1960) "An unmixing demonstration"American Journal of Physics28, 348-353.

2. Kundu P and Cohen I.Fluid Mechanics.

3. Batchelor, George Keith. An introduction to fluid dynamics. Cambridge university press, 2000.

4. Acheson, David J. Elementary fluid dynamics. Oxford University Press, 1990.

5. George Keith Batchelor, . An introduction to fluid dynamics. Cambridge university press, 2000.

6. Illingworth, C. R. "Some solutions of the equations of flow of a viscous compressible fluid." Mathematical Proceedings of the

Cambridge Philosophical Society. Vol. 46. No. 03. Cambridge University Press, 1950.

7. Paco Lagerstrom. Laminar flow theory. Princeton University Press, 1996.

8. Liepmann, Hans Wolfgang, and Anatol Roshko. Elements of gasdynamics. Courier Corporation, 1957.

9. Liepmann, H. W., and Z. O. Bleviss. "The effects of dissociation and ionization on compressible couette flow

." Douglas Aircraft

Co. Rept. SM-19831 130 (1956).

10. Liepmann, H. W. "Hydromagnetic effects in Couette and Stokes flow." The Plasma in a Magnetic Field: A Symposium. Stanford

University Press, 1958.

11. Rowell, H. S. "u. D. Finlayson." Engineering 17, 606 (1922) 23 (1928): 249.

12. Lev Landau and E. M. Lifshitz. "Fluid Mechanics Pergamon." New Y

ork 61 (1959).

13. G.G. Stokes(1845) ``On the theories of the internal friction of fluids in motion and of the equilibrium and motion of elastic solids,

in Mathematical and Physical Papers, pp. 102-104, Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 1880. (https://archive.org/strea

m/mathphyspapers01stokrich#page/n119/mode/2up)

14. G.I. Taylor (1923) Stability of a Viscous Liquid Contained between Two Rotating Cylinders, Philosophical Transactions of the

Royal Society of London. Series A223, 289–343.

15. Wendl, Michael C. "General solution for the Couette flow profile." Physical Review E 60.5 (1999): 6192.

Richard Feynman (1964) The Feynman Lectures on Physics: Mainly Electromagnetism and Matter

, § 41–6 "Couette flow",

Addison–Wesley ISBN 0-201-02117-X .

External links

AMS Glossary: Couette Flow

A rheologists perspective: the science behind the couette cell accessory

"

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