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Journal Articles Experiments in Fluids Year : 2020

Flow around an oscillating grid in water and shear-thinning polymer solution at low Reynolds number


The study of turbulence in complex fluids is of great interest in many environmental and industrial applications, in which the interactions between liquid phase rheology, turbulence, and other phenomena such as mixing or heat and mass transfer have to be understood. Oscillating grid stirred tanks have been used for many purposes in research involving turbulence. However, the mechanisms of turbulence production by the oscillating grid itself have never been studied, and oscillating grid turbulence (OGT) remained undescribed in non-Newtonian, shear-thinning, dilute polymer solutions until recently (Lacassagne et al., in Phys Fluids 31(8):083,102, 2019). The aim of this paper is to study the influence of the shear-thinning property of dilute polymer solutions (DPS), such as xanthan gum (XG), on mean flow, oscillatory flows, and turbulence around an oscillating grid. Liquid phase velocity is measured by particle image velocimetry (PIV) in a vertical plane above the central grid bar. Mean, oscillatory and turbulent components of the velocity fields are deduced by triple Hussain–Reynolds decomposition based on grid phase-resolved measurements. Outside of the grid swept region, the amplitude of oscillatory fluctuations quickly become negligible compared to that of turbulent fluctuations, and the triple and classical Reynolds decomposition become equivalent. Oscillatory jets and wakes behind the grid and their interactions are visualized. Turbulent (Reynolds) and oscillatory stresses are used to evidence a modification of oscillatory flow and turbulence intensity repartition in and around the grid swept region. Energy transfer terms between mean, oscillatory and turbulent flows are estimated and used to describe turbulence production in the grid swept region. Energy is injected by the grid into the oscillatory component. In water, it is transferred to turbulence mostly inside the grid swept region. In DPS, oscillatory flow persists outside of the grid swept zone. Energy is transferred not only to turbulence , in the grid swept region, and far from the tank’s walls, but also to the mean flow, leading to an enhancement of the latter. Mean flow production and enhancement mechanisms are explainable by oscillatory jet variable symmetry and intensity, and by time- and space-variable viscosity. Backward transfer from turbulence to oscillatory flow is also evidenced in DPS. Finally, using phased root mean square (rms) values of turbulent velocity fluctuations, it is shown that in water, the decay of turbulence intensity behind an oscillating grid can be related to the decay of fixed grid turbulence for specific grid positions, a result no longer valid in DPS.
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Origin : Publication funded by an institution

Dates and versions

hal-02391807 , version 1 (02-11-2021)
hal-02391807 , version 2 (07-12-2022)



Tom Lacassagne, Adrien Lyon, Serge Simoëns, Mahmoud El Hajem, Jean-Yves Champagne. Flow around an oscillating grid in water and shear-thinning polymer solution at low Reynolds number. Experiments in Fluids, 2020, 61 (1), pp.15. ⟨10.1007/s00348-019-2840-0⟩. ⟨hal-02391807v2⟩
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