University of Birmingham > Talks@bham > Applied Mathematics Seminar Series > Shear-thinning: A stabilising effect? Yes, no, maybe?

Shear-thinning: A stabilising effect? Yes, no, maybe?

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In this talk we will investigate how viscosity effects the stability of a fluid flow. By assuming a shear-thinning viscosity relationship, where an increase in shear-rate results in a decrease in fluid viscosity, we show that flows can be interpreted as being either stabilised or destabilised, depending on the definition of the Reynolds number. Using a two-dimensional boundary-layer flow as our ‘toy model’ we are able to show equivalence between different shear-thinning models. The effect shear-thinning has on important parameters such as the critical Reynolds number and the maximum frequency of the disturbances will be discussed and interpreted in the wider context. Furthermore, to gain an insight into the underlying physical mechanisms affecting the destabilisation of the disturbances, an integral energy equation is derived and energy calculations are presented.

This talk is part of the Applied Mathematics Seminar Series series.

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