Experiments in Fluids

, Volume 41, Issue 3, pp 425–440 | Cite as

Experimental investigation of three-dimensional flow instabilities in a rotating lid-driven cavity

  • Jens Nørkær SørensenEmail author
  • Igor Naumov
  • Robert Mikkelsen
Research Article


The swirling flow between a rotating lid and a stationary cylinder is studied experimentally. The flow is governed by two parameters: the ratio of container height to disk radius, h, and the Reynolds number, Re, based on the disk angular velocity, cylinder radius and kinematic viscosity of the working liquid. For the first time, the onset of three-dimensional flow behavior is measured by combining the high spatial resolution of particle image velocimetry and the temporal accuracy of laser Doppler anemometry. A detailed mapping of the transition scenario from steady and axisymmetric flow to unsteady and three-dimensional flow is investigated for 1 ≥ h ≥ 3.5. The flow is characterized by the development of azimuthal modes of different wave numbers. A range of different modes is detected and critical Reynolds numbers and associated frequencies are identified. The results are compared to the numerical stability analysis of Gelfgat et al. (J Fluid Mech 438:363–377, 2001). In most cases, the measured onset of three-dimensionality is in good agreement with the numerical results and disagreements can be explained by bifurcations not accounted for by the numerical stability analysis.


Reynolds Number Particle Image Velocimetry Critical Reynolds Number Laser Doppler Anemometry Azimuthal Velocity 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



This research has been supported in part by the INTAS (grant for young scientists no. 03-55-571) and by RFBR (grant no. 04-01-00124).


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jens Nørkær Sørensen
    • 1
    Email author
  • Igor Naumov
    • 1
    • 2
  • Robert Mikkelsen
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Mechanical EngineeringTechnical University of DenmarkLyngbyDenmark
  2. 2.Institute of ThermophysicsSB RASNovosibirskRussia

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