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Title: Numerical and experimental analysis of local flow phenomena in laminar Taylor flow in a square mini-channel
Written by: Falconi, C. J.; Lehrenfeld, C.; Marschall, H.; Meyer, C.; Abiev, R.; Bothe, D; Reusken, A.; Schlüter, M.; Wörner, M.
in: Physics of Fluids January 2016
Volume: 28 Number: 1
on pages: 012109
how published:
DOI: 10.1063/1.4939498

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Abstract: The vertically upward Taylor flow in a small square channel (side length 2 mm) is one of the guiding measures within the priority program “Transport Processes at Fluidic Interfaces” (SPP 1506) of the German Research Foundation (DFG). This paper presents the results of coordinated experiments and three-dimensional numerical simulations (with three different academic computer codes) for typical local flow parameters (bubble shape, thickness of the liquid film, and velocity profiles) in different cutting planes (lateral and diagonal) for a specific co-current Taylor flow. For most quantities, the differences between the three simulation results and also between the numerical and experimental results are below a few percent. The experimental and computational results consistently show interesting three-dimensional flow effects in the rear part of the liquid film. There, a local back flow of liquid occurs in the fixed frame of reference which leads to a temporary reversal of the direction of the wall shear stress during the passage of a Taylor bubble. Notably, the axial positions of the region with local backflow and those of the minimum vertical velocity differ in the lateral and the diagonal liquid films. By a thorough analysis of the fully resolved simulation results, this previously unknown phenomenon is explained in detail and, moreover, approximate criteria for its occurrence in practical applications are given. It is the different magnitude of the velocity in the lateral film and in the corner region which leads to azimuthal pressure differences in the lateral and diagonal liquid films and causes a slight deviation of the bubble from the rotational symmetry. This deviation is opposite in the front and rear parts of the bubble and has the mentioned significant effects on the local flow field in the rear part of the liquid film.