Numerical study of Saffman–Taylor instability in immiscible nonlinear viscoelastic flows

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In this paper, a numerical solution for Saffman–Taylor instability of immiscible nonlinear viscoelastic-Newtonian displacement in a Hele–Shaw cell is presented. Here, a nonlinear viscoelastic fluid pushes a Newtonian fluid and the volume of fluid method is applied to predict the formation of two phases. The Giesekus model is considered as the constitutive equation to describe the nonlinear viscoelastic behavior. The simulation is performed by a parallelized finite volume method (FVM) using second order in both the spatial and the temporal discretization. The effect of rheological properties and surface tension on the immiscible Saffman–Taylor instability are studied in detail. The destabilizing effect of shear-thinning behavior of nonlinear viscoelastic fluid on the instability is studied by changing the mobility factor of Giesekus model. Results indicate that the fluid elasticity and capillary number decrease the intensity of Saffman–Taylor instability.

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Correspondence to Mahmood Norouzi.

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Yazdi, A.A., Norouzi, M. Numerical study of Saffman–Taylor instability in immiscible nonlinear viscoelastic flows. Rheol Acta 57, 575–589 (2018).

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  • Saffman–Taylor instability
  • Viscous fingering instability
  • Viscoelastic fluid
  • Giesekus model
  • Volume of fluid (VOF)