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Competing geometric and inertial effects on local flow structure in thick gravity-driven fluid films

Scholle, M., Haas, A., Aksel, N., Wilson, M.C.T., Thompson, H.M. and Gaskell, P.H. (2008) Competing geometric and inertial effects on local flow structure in thick gravity-driven fluid films. Physics of Fluids, 20 (12). Art. No. 123101. ISSN 1070-6631

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The formation and presence of eddies within thick gravity-driven free-surface film flow over a corrugated substrate are considered, with the governing equations solved semianalytically using a complex variable method for Stokes flow and numerically via a full finite element formulation for the more general problem when inertia is significant. The effect of varying geometry (involving changes in the film thickness or the amplitude and wavelength of the substrate) and inertia is explored separately. For Stokes-like flow and varying geometry, excellent agreement is found between prediction and existing flow visualizations and measured eddy center locations associated with the switch from attached to locally detached flow. It is argued that an appropriate measure of the influence of inertia at the substrate is in terms of a local Reynolds number based on the characteristic corrugation length scale. Since, for small local Reynolds numbers, the local flow structure there becomes effectively decoupled from the inertia-dominated overlying film and immune from instabilities at the free-surface; the influence of inertia manifests itself as a skewing of the dividing streamline (separatrix). It is shown that the formation and presence of eddies can be manipulated in one of two ways. While an decrease/increase in the corrugation steepness leads to the disappearance/appearance of kinematically induced eddies, an increase/decrease in the inertia present in the system leads to the appearance/disappearance of inertially induced eddies. A critical corrugation steepness for a given film thickness is defined, demarking the transition from a kinematically to an inertially induced local eddy flow structure and vice versa. ©2008 American Institute of Physics

Item Type: Article
Institution: The University of Leeds
Academic Units: The University of Leeds > Faculty of Engineering (Leeds) > School of Mechanical Engineering (Leeds) > Institute of Engineering Thermofluids, Surfaces & Interfaces (iETSI) (Leeds)
Depositing User: Mrs Fiona Slade
Date Deposited: 23 Dec 2008 16:15
Last Modified: 18 Jun 2015 17:26
Published Version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1063/1.3041150
Status: Published
Publisher: American Institute of Physics
Refereed: Yes
Identification Number: 10.1063/1.3041150
URI: http://eprints.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/5011

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