Instability of stratified two-phase flows in rectangular ducts

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The linear stability of stratified two-phase flows in rectangular ducts is studied numerically. The linear stability analysis takes into account all possible infinitesimal three-dimensional disturbances and is carried out by solution of the associated eigenproblem. The neutral stability boundary and the corresponding critical wave number are obtained for liquid – liquid and air – water systems. Depending on the problem parameters, the instability sets in owing to short, intermediate, or long wave most unstable perturbations. Patterns of the most unstable disturbances are reported and discussed. It is shown that the instability arises due to shear, or interfacial mechanisms. Effects of the surface tension and of width/height aspect ratio are also studied. The results support the premise that the stability analysis of stratified two-phase flow in the simpler geometry of two-infinite plates can provide a reasonable estimation of the conditions for which this flow pattern can be considered to be linearly stable.

Original languageEnglish
Article number103395
JournalInternational Journal of Multiphase Flow
StatePublished - Oct 2020


  • Rectangular duct
  • Stability
  • Two-phase flow


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