Physical Overview of the Instability in Laminar Wall-Bounded Flows of Newtonian Fluids at Subcritical Reynolds Numbers

Document Type : Review Article


1 Faculty of Mechanical Engineering, Semnan University, Semnan, Iran

2 Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, Clarkson University, Potsdam, NY, USA


This paper reviews the latest findings on instability and subcritical transition to turbulence in wall-bounded flows (i.e., pipe Poiseuille flow, plane channel flow, and plane Couette flow). The main focus was on the early stage of transitional flow and the appearance of coherent structures. The scaling of threshold disturbance amplitude for the onset of natural transition was discussed. Generally, the scaling proved to be in the form of Ac = O(Reg) for Newtonian fluids where Re is the Reynolds number, g ≤ -1, and Ac is the critical perturbation amplitude. It was noted that exploration of perturbations like vortices, streaks, and traveling waves together with their amplitudes could clarify the instability and transition process. Hence, this paper focused on physical behavior and realizations of the transitional flow. Finally, a summary of consequential implications and some open issues for future works were presented and discussed.


Main Subjects

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