Numerical investigation of the three-dimensional pressure distribution in Taylor Couette flow

[+] Author and Article Information
David S. Adebayo

University of Leicester Department of Engineering, University Road, Leicester LE1 7RH, UK

Aldo Rona

University of Leicester Department of Engineering, University Road, Leicester LE1 7RH, UK

1Corresponding author.

ASME doi:10.1115/1.4037083 History: Received October 31, 2016; Revised May 10, 2017


An investigation is conducted on the flow in a moderately wide gap between an inner rotating shaft and an outer coaxial fixed tube, with stationary end-walls, by three dimensional Reynolds Averaged Navier-Stokes (RANS) Computational Fluid Dynamics, using the realizable k-epsilon model. This approach provides three-dimensional spatial distributions of static and of dynamic pressure that are not directly measurable in experiment by conventional non-intrusive optics-based techniques. The non-uniform pressure main features on the axial and meridional planes appear to be driven by the radial momentum equilibrium of the flow, which is characterised by axisymmetric Taylor vortices over the Taylor number range 2.35 × 10^6 <= Ta <= 6.47 × 10^6. Regularly spaced static and dynamic pressure maxima on the stationary cylinder wall follow the axial stacking of the Taylor vortices and line up with the vortex induced radial outflow documented in previous work. This new detailed understanding has potential for application to the design of a vertical turbine pump head. Aligning the location where the gauge static pressure maximum occurs with the central axis of the delivery pipe could improve the head delivery, the pump mechanical efficiency, the system operation, and control costs.

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