The Stability of Oscillatory Hagen-Poiseuille Flow

[+] Author and Article Information
J. T. Tozzi

USCG Headquarters

C. H. von Kerczek

Mechanical Engineering Department, The Catholic University of America, Washington, D.C. 20064

J. Appl. Mech 53(1), 187-192 (Mar 01, 1986) (6 pages) doi:10.1115/1.3171709 History: Received January 01, 1984; Revised December 01, 1984; Online July 21, 2009


The linear stability theory of the nonzero mean, sinusoidally oscillating flow in a tube of circular cross section is examined. It is found that the relevant axisymmetric disturbances in the oscillatory flow are more stable (i.e., have larger decay rates) than the axisymmetric disturbances of the mean flow alone. This result holds for values of the cross-sectional average oscillation velocity amplitude at least as large as seven-tenths the average mean-flow velocity amplitude. Although the instantaneous velocity profile contains generalized inflection rings for a substantial portion of the oscillation period, the disturbances do not become instantaneously unstable at any time, even for very low frequency oscillations.

Copyright © 1986 by ASME
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