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On the coherent drag-reducing and turbulence-enhancing behaviour of polymers in wall flows. (English) Zbl 1067.76052
Summary: Numerical simulations of turbulent polymer solutions using the FENE-P model are used to characterize the action of polymers on turbulence in drag-reduced flows. The energetics of turbulence is investigated by correlating the work done by polymers on the flow with turbulent structures. Polymers are found to store and to release energy to the flow in a well-organized manner. The storage of energy occurs around near-wall vortices as has been anticipated for a long time. Quite unexpectedly, coherent release of energy is observed in the very near-wall region. Large fluctuations of polymer work are shown to re-energize decaying streamwise velocity fluctuations in high-speed streaks just above the viscous sublayer. These distinct behaviours are used to propose an autonomous regeneration cycle of polymer wall turbulence, in the spirit of Jiménez and Pinelli (1999).

76F70 Control of turbulent flows
76F10 Shear flows and turbulence
76A05 Non-Newtonian fluids
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