Existence of dual solutions and three-dimensional instability in helical pipe flow

Anup Kumer Datta, Toshinori Kouchi, Yasutaka Hayamizu, Yasunori Nagata, Kyoji Yamamoto, Shinichiro Yanase

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


Three-dimensional (3D) direct numerical simulations (DNS) of the viscous incompressible fluid flow through a helical pipe with circular cross section were performed. The flow is governed by three parameters: the Dean number (or the Reynolds number), curvature, and torsion. First, we obtained steady solutions by steady 3D calculations, where dual solutions were found, one was uniform in the pipe axial direction and the other varied very slowly, if torsion exceeded a critical value. Then, the instability of the steady solutions obtained was studied by unsteady 3D calculations. We obtained critical Reynolds numbers of steady to unsteady transition by observing the behaviors of the unsteady solutions. The present results of the critical Reynolds number nearly agreed with those by the 2D linear stability analysis (Yamamoto et al. [9]) except for the lowest critical Reynolds number region, where the present study gave the critical Reynolds number much less than that obtained by the 2D linear stability analysis. We found the vortical structures in the form of a standing wave slightly above the marginal instability state, which is a trigger of explosive 3D instability.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)154-166
Number of pages13
JournalChinese Journal of Physics
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2021


  • Critical Reynolds number
  • Helical pipe flow
  • Three-dimensional instability
  • Torsion effect

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physics and Astronomy(all)


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