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Numerical investigation of the three-dimensional pressure distribution in Taylor Couette flow

journal contribution
posted on 05.07.2017, 14:04 by David S. Adebayo, Aldo Rona
An investigation is conducted on the flow in a moderately wide gap between an inner rotating shaft and an outer coaxial fixed tube, with stationary end-walls, by three dimensional Reynolds Averaged Navier-Stokes (RANS) Computational Fluid Dynamics, using the realizable k-epsilon model. This approach provides three-dimensional spatial distributions of static and of dynamic pressure that are not directly measurable in experiment by conventional non-intrusive optics-based techniques. The non-uniform pressure main features on the axial and meridional planes appear to be driven by the radial momentum equilibrium of the flow, which is characterised by axisymmetric Taylor vortices over the Taylor number range 2.35 × 10^6 <= Ta <= 6.47 × 10^6. Regularly spaced static and dynamic pressure maxima on the stationary cylinder wall follow the axial stacking of the Taylor vortices and line up with the vortex induced radial outflow documented in previous work. This new detailed understanding has potential for application to the design of a vertical turbine pump head. Aligning the location where the gauge static pressure maximum occurs with the central axis of the delivery pipe could improve the head delivery, the pump mechanical efficiency, the system operation, and control costs.


The authors would like to acknowledge the support by the European Community’s Sixth Framework Programme (PROVAEN, project number 32669). The licenses for the software used for processing and plotting the graphical data were acquired with the support of EPSRC on grant GR/N23745/01. This research used the ALICE High Performance Computing Facility at the University of Leicester.



Journal of Fluids Engineering, 2017

Author affiliation

/Organisation/COLLEGE OF SCIENCE AND ENGINEERING/Department of Engineering


AM (Accepted Manuscript)

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Journal of Fluids Engineering


American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME)





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