Flow Enhancement due to Elastic Turbulence in Channel Flows of Shear Thinning Fluids

We explore the flow of highly shear thinning polymer solutions in straight geometry. The strong variations of the normal forces close to the wall give rise to an elastic instability. We evidence a periodic motion close the onset of the instability, which then evolves towards a turbulentlike flow at higher flow rates. Strikingly, we point out that this instability induces genuine drag reduction due to the homogenization of the viscosity profile by the turbulent flow.

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