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Published September 2021 | Submitted + Published
Journal Article Open

Tollmien-Schlichting route to elastoinertial turbulence in channel flow


Direct simulations of two-dimensional channel flow of a viscoelastic fluid have revealed the existence of a family of Tollmien-Schlichting (TS) attractors that is nonlinearly self-sustained by viscoelasticity [Shekar et al., J. Fluid Mech. 897, A3 (2020)]. Here, we describe the evolution of this branch in parameter space and its connections to the Newtonian TS attractor and to elastoinertial turbulence (EIT). At Reynolds number Re=3000, there is a solution branch with TS-wave structure but which is not connected to the Newtonian solution branch. At fixed Weissenberg number, Wi, and increasing Reynolds number from 3000 to 10 000, this attractor goes from displaying a striation of weak polymer stretch localized at the critical layer to an extended sheet of very large polymer stretch. We show that this transition is directly tied to the strength of the TS critical layer fluctuations and can be attributed to a coil-stretch transition when the local Weissenberg number at the hyperbolic stagnation point of the Kelvin cat's eye structure of the TS wave exceeds 1/2. At Re=10000, unlike 3000, the Newtonian TS attractor evolves continuously into the EIT state as Wi is increased from zero to about 13. We describe how the structure of the flow and stress fields changes, highlighting in particular a "sheet-shedding" process by which the individual sheets associated with the critical layer structure break up to form the layered multisheet structure characteristic of EIT.

Additional Information

© 2021 American Physical Society. Received 20 April 2021; accepted 31 August 2021; published 27 September 2021. This work was supported by Grants No. (UW) NSF CBET-1510291, No. AFOSR FA9550-18-1-0174, and No. ONR N00014-18-1-2865, and Grant No. (Caltech) ONR N00014-17-1-3022.

Attached Files

Published - PhysRevFluids.6.093301.pdf

Submitted - 2104.10257.pdf


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Additional details

August 20, 2023
October 23, 2023