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Transition to turbulence in constant-mass-flux pipe flow

  • A. G. Darbyshire (a1) and T. Mullin (a1)

We report the results of an experimental study of the transition to turbulence in a pipe under the condition of constant mass flux. The transition behaviour and structures observed in this experiment were qualitatively the same as those described in previous reported studies performed in pressure-driven systems. A variety of jet and suction devices were used to create repeatable disturbances which were then used to test the stability of developed Poiseuille flow. The Reynolds number (Re) and the parameters governing the disturbances were varied and the outcome, whether or not transition occurred some distance downstream of the injection point, was recorded. It was found that a critical amplitude of disturbance was required to cause transition at a given Re and that this amplitude varied in a systematic way with Re. This finite, critical level was found to be a robust feature, and was relatively insensitive to the form of disturbance. We interpret this as evidence for disconnected solutions which may provide a pointer for making progress in this fundamental, and as yet unresolved, problem in fluid mechanics.

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Journal of Fluid Mechanics
  • ISSN: 0022-1120
  • EISSN: 1469-7645
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