On countercurrent two-layer flows in thin channels

Wednesday, March 25, 2009 - 10:45am - 11:30am
EE/CS 3-180
Burt Tilley (Franklin W. Olin College of Engineering)
Two-phase gas-liquid flows are important in a variety of heat transfer
systems, such as in the on-chip cooling of microelectromechanical
devices up to the infrastructure of safety systems in nuclear power
plants. We focus on the case of two-layer flows in inclined channels,
where a gas and a liquid, immiscibly separated by a sharp interface with
large surface tension, flow in opposite directions. The liquid is
driven by gravity while the gas flows due to an imposed pressure
gradient. For disturbance wavelengths that are much longer than the
channel thickness, a fourth-order nonlinear equation which describes the
evolution of the separating interfacial shape is found that is coupled
to an elliptic equation for the pressure, whose solution provides a
constraint to the dynamics of the flow. We survey the impact of these
different constraints on the solutions, and extend the analysis to
include incompressibility effects. This work was a collaboration with
T.M. Segin and L. Kondic.

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