Simulation and Tutorial of the Classic Taylor-Couette Flow Experiment

In 1923 Sir Geoffrey Ingram Taylor published his classic work on "Stability of a Viscous Liquid contained between Two Rotating Cylinders". In this longish paper Taylor deals with the stability of fluid flows in particular with what is now known as Taylor-Couette Flow. In order to demonstrate the accuracy of modern simulation methods, we created a model of the original experiment and compared the observed values with the simulated ones.

Taylor investigates the distance of vortices forming in a fluid between two rotating, concentric cylinders in his paper. These vortices form depending on the distance between the cylinders and the difference in rotation speed and are quite distinct flow features. We picked one of these cases with the space between vortices at 0.24 cm, the simulation of the same case yields - with a sufficiently refined mesh - 0.24 cm. A very nice demonstration about simulation accuracy of current CFD software!

Since this simulation also makes a nice example for steady-state, laminar flows, we decided to create a tutorial from it, grab the pdf and the tar.gz-archive containing the files for the tutorial from the links below:

http://rheologic.net/sites/default/files/pdf/taylor_couette_tutorial-20160913.pdf
http://rheologic.net/sites/default/files/downloads/taylor_couette.tar.gz