Instabilities in flexible channel flow with large external pressure

Stewart, P. S. (2017) Instabilities in flexible channel flow with large external pressure. [Data Collection]

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We examine the stability of laminar high-Reynolds-number flow through an asymmetric flexible-walled channel driven by a fixed upstream flux and subject to a (large) uniform external pressure. We construct a long wavelength, spatially one-dimensional model using a flow profile assumption, modelling the flexible wall as a thin tensioned membrane subject to a large axial pre-stress.We numerically construct the non-uniform static shape of the flexible wall and consider its stability using both a global eigensolver and numerical simulation of the nonlinear governing equations. The system admits multiple static solutions, including a highly collapsed steady state where the membrane has a single constriction which increases with increasing external pressure. We demonstrate that the non-uniform static state is unstable to two distinct (infinite) families of normal modes which we characterise in the limit of large external pressure. In particular, there is a family of low-frequency oscillatory modes which each persist to low membrane tensions, where the most unstable mode has an oscillating membrane profile which is outwardly bulged at the centre of the domain with a narrow constriction at the downstream end. In addition, there is a family of high-frequency oscillatory modes which are each unstable beyond a critical value of the tension within a two-branch neutral curve. Unstable modes along the lower branch of the neutral curve are sustained by a leading-order balance between unsteady inertia and the restoring force of membrane tension along the channel. In addition, we elucidate the mechanism of energy transfer to sustain the self-excited oscillations: oscillations decrease the mean maximal constriction of the channel over a period, which reduces the overall dissipation of the mean flow and releases energy to sustain the instability. Fully nonlinear simulations indicate that as the Reynolds number increases these unstable normal modes can grow supercritically into sustained large amplitude ‘slamming’ oscillations, where the membrane is periodically drawn very close to the opposite rigid wall before recovering. This dataset contains the data underlying the nine figures in the paper that contain data.

College / School: College of Science and Engineering > School of Mathematics and Statistics
Date Deposited: 17 May 2017 15:49

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Stewart, P. S. (2017); Instabilities in flexible channel flow with large external pressure

University of Glasgow


Retrieved: 2017-09-21


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