Bifurcation and stability of forced convection in curved ducts of square cross-section

Liqiu Wang, Tianliang Yang

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48 Citations (Scopus)


A numerical study is made on the fully developed bifurcation structure and stability of the forced convection in a curved duct of square cross-section (Dean problem). In addition to the extension of three known solution branches to the high Dean number region, three new asymmetric solution branches are found from three symmetry-breaking bifurcation points on the isolated symmetric branch. The flows on these new branches are either an asymmetric two-cell state or an asymmetric seven-cell structure. The linear stability of multiple solutions are conclusively determined by solving the eigenvalue system for all eigenvalues. Only two-cell flows on the primary symmetric branch and on the part of isolated symmetric branch are linearly stable. The symmetric six-cell flow is also linearly unstable to asymmetric disturbances although it was ascertained to be stable to symmetric disturbances in the literature. The linear stability is observed to change along some solution branch even without passing any bifurcation or limit points. Furthermore, dynamic responses of the multiple solutions to finite random disturbances are also examined by the direct transient computation. It is found that possible physically realizable fully developed flows evolve, as the Dean number increases, from a stable steady two-cell state at lower Dean number to a temporal periodic oscillation state, another stable steady two-cell state, a temporal intermittent oscillation, and a chaotic temporal oscillation. Among them, three temporal oscillation states have not been reported in the literature. A temporal periodic oscillation between symmetric/asymmetric two-cell flows and symmetric/asymmetric four-cell flows are found in the range where there are no stable steady fully developed solutions. The symmetry-breaking point on the primary solution branch is determined to be a sub-critical Hopf point by the transient computation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2971-2987
Number of pages17
JournalInternational Journal of Heat and Mass Transfer
Issue number14-16
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2004
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Fluid Flow and Transfer Processes


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