Particle-laden Taylor-Couette flows: Higher-order transitions and evidence for azimuthally localized wavy vortices

Amitosh Dash*, Arjun Anantharaman, Christian Poelma

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

13 Citations (Scopus)
64 Downloads (Pure)


We extend upon the known flow transitions in neutrally buoyant particle-laden Taylor-Couette flows by accessing higher suspension Reynolds numbers in a geometry with radius ratio and aspect ratio. Flow transitions for several particle volume fractions () are investigated by means of flow visualization experiments, in a flow driven by a rotating inner cylinder. Despite higher effective ramp rates, we observe non-axisymmetric patterns, such as spirals, in the presence of particles. A novel observation in our experiments is the azimuthally localized wavy vortex flow, characterized by waviness present on a fraction of the otherwise axisymmetric Taylor vortices. The existence of this flow state suggests that in addition to the already established, destabilizing effect of particles, they may also inhibit the growth of instabilities. Flow topologies corresponding to higher-order transitions in particle-laden suspensions appear to be qualitatively similar to those observed in single-phase flows. A key difference, however, is the visible reduction in the appearance of a second, incommensurate frequency at higher particle loadings, which could have implications for the onset of chaos. Simultaneous torque measurements allow us to estimate an empirical scaling law between the Nusselt number (), the Taylor number () and the relative viscosity (. The scaling exponent of is non-trivially independent of the particle loading. Apparently, particles do not trigger a qualitative change in the nature of angular momentum transfer between the cylinders.

Original languageEnglish
Article numberA20
Number of pages35
JournalJournal of Fluid Mechanics
Publication statusPublished - 2020


  • particle/fluid flow
  • Taylor-Couette flow


Dive into the research topics of 'Particle-laden Taylor-Couette flows: Higher-order transitions and evidence for azimuthally localized wavy vortices'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.
  • Opaque Inertial Suspensions

    Dash, A., 2022, 211 p.

    Research output: ThesisDissertation (TU Delft)

    Open Access
    29 Downloads (Pure)

Cite this