Dynamics of hairpin vortices and polymer-induced turbulent drag reduction

Kyoungyoun Kim, Ronald Adrian, S. Balachandar, R. Sureshkumar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

58 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

It has been known for over six decades that the dissolution of minute amounts of high molecular weight polymers in wall-bounded turbulent flows results in a dramatic reduction in turbulent skin friction by up to 70%. First principles simulations of turbulent flow of model polymer solutions can predict the drag reduction (DR) phenomenon. However, the essential dynamical interactions between the coherent structures present in turbulent flows and polymer conformation field that lead to DR are poorly understood. We examine this connection via dynamical simulations that track the evolution of hairpin vortices, i.e., counter-rotating pairs of quasistreamwise vortices whose nonlinear autogeneration and growth, decay and breakup are centrally important to turbulence stress production. The results show that the autogeneration of new vortices is suppressed by the polymer stresses, thereby decreasing the turbulent drag.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number134504
JournalPhysical Review Letters
Volume100
Issue number13
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 2 2008

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horseshoe vortices
drag reduction
turbulent flow
polymers
vortices
skin friction
drag
molecular weight
dissolving
counters
simulation
turbulence
decay
interactions

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physics and Astronomy(all)

Cite this

Dynamics of hairpin vortices and polymer-induced turbulent drag reduction. / Kim, Kyoungyoun; Adrian, Ronald; Balachandar, S.; Sureshkumar, R.

In: Physical Review Letters, Vol. 100, No. 13, 134504, 02.04.2008.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Kim, Kyoungyoun ; Adrian, Ronald ; Balachandar, S. ; Sureshkumar, R. / Dynamics of hairpin vortices and polymer-induced turbulent drag reduction. In: Physical Review Letters. 2008 ; Vol. 100, No. 13.
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