Physics of Fluids, vol. 20, issue 11 (2008)
Recently, it has been observed that simple geometry characterized by a low level of symmetry present interesting peculiarities in the process of transition from laminar Poiseuille flow to turbulent flow. Examples of this type of geometry are eccentric channels and, more generally, parallel channels containing a narrow gap. In the present work, a global linear stability analysis for the flow in this class of geometry has been performed. The problem is discretized through spectral collocation and the eigenvalue problem has been solved with the Arnoldi-method based algorithms and the QZ algorithm. Since no numerical studies of this type have yet been performed to address the issue of transition in this geometry, the codes have been validated toward results obtained in simplified geometries (e.g., concentric annular channel and square channel). The eigenvalue spectra of the Poiseuille flow in eccentric channels and a U-shaped channel have then been computed and analyzed for a wide range of geometric parameters. After comparison with spectra typical of channel flow and pipe flow it is shown that an additional linear mechanism of instability is present, related to the spanwise variation of the laminar velocity profile.
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