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Centrifugal instability over a rotating cone

Hussain, Z and Garrett, SJ and Stephen, SO (2012) Centrifugal instability over a rotating cone. Journal of Algorithms & Computational Technology, 6.

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Abstract

In this study, we provide a mathematical description of the onset of counter-rotating circular vortices observed for a family of slender rotating cones (of half-angles 15°, 30° and 45°) in quiescent fluid. In particular, we apply appropriate scalings and apply a change of coordinates, accounting for the effects of streamline curvature. A combined large Reynolds number and large vortex wavenumber analysis is used to obtain an estimate for the asymptotic right-hand branch of neutral stability for the family of slender rotating cones. Existing experimental and theoretical studies are discussed which lead to the clear hypothesis of a hitherto unidentified convective instability mode that dominates within the boundary-layer flow over slender rotating cones. The mode manifests as Görtler-type counter-rotating spiral vortices, indicative of a centrifugal mechanism. Although a formulation consistent with the classic rotating-disk problem has been successful in predicting the stability characteristics over broad cones, it is unable to identify such a centrifugal mode as the half-angle is reduced. An alternative formulation is developed and the governing equations solved using both short-wavelength asymptotic and numerical approaches to independently identify the centrifugal mode. Our results confirm our earlier predictions pertaining to the existence of the new Görtler mode and capture the effects of the governing centrifugal instability mechanism. Meanwhile, favourable comparisons are drawn between numerical and asymptotic neutral stability curve predictions.

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