Influence of drag-reducing polymers on turbulence: effects of Reynolds number, concentration and mixing
- Cite this article as:
- Warholic, M., Massah, H. & Hanratty, T. Experiments in Fluids (1999) 27: 461. doi:10.1007/s003480050371
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Measurements of turbulence properties of solutions of polymers have been made over a large range of drag-reduction, in a fully-developed channel flow. At flows close to maximum drag-reduction the Reynolds stresses were approximately zero over the whole cross section of the channel. Added mean polymer stresses were observed in the viscous wall region for small drag-reduction and over the whole cross-section for large drag-reduction. Even though the Reynolds stresses are zero, the velocity profile is not parabolic because of the presence of these mean stresses. We interpret the results by arguing that the interaction of turbulence with the polymers introduces mean and fluctuating polymer stresses which can create turbulence. The observation that the turbulence modification depends on the manner by which the polymers are introduced into the flow supports the notion that the polymers need to form aggregates in order to be effective.