MHD experiments on quasi two-dimensional and three-dimensional liquid metal flows

  • Rico Alf Klein

    Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisDoctor of Philosophy


    This dissertation reported an experimental answer to the long-standing question of how three-dimensionality appears in wall-bounded magnetohydrodynamic flows and presented also an experimental study on the transition to turbulence in a confined, mostly quasi two-dimensional flow. Accordingly, it was shown the analysis of a vortex array with susceptibility to three-dimensionality, enclosed in a cubic container and a mostly, quasi two-dimensional vortex pair confined by the walls of a shallow, cylindrical container. Both containers were hermetically filled by a liquid metal fluid and subject to a constant, homogeneous magnetic field. The flow forcing was made by injecting constant electric current from one wall that intersects magnetic field lines (Hartmann wall). Flow characteristics and the presence of three-dimensionality were monitored by measuring electric potentials on either Hartmann walls that confined the liquid metal. A form of three-dimensionality termed as weak appeared through differential rotation along the axis of individual vortices, while a strong form manifested itself in vortices that do not extend from one to the other Hartmann wall. In the cubic container, this resulted into an array of novel, spectacular flow structures that were both steady and strongly three-dimensional, and, yielded to a frequency-selective breakdown of quasi two-dimensionality in chaotic and turbulent flow regimes. The mostly quasi two-dimensional flow in the shallow, cylindrical container was shown to undergo a sequence of supercritical bifurcations to turbulence triggered by boundary layer separations from the circular wall. For very high forcing, the flow reached a turbulent regime where the dissipation increased drastically. This was related to a possible transition from a laminar to a turbulent Hartmann layer.
    Date of AwardJun 2010
    Original languageEnglish
    Awarding Institution
    • Coventry University
    SponsorsTechnische Universität Ilmenau & Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG)
    SupervisorAlban Potherat (Supervisor) & Sergei Molokov (Supervisor)


    • Magnetohydrodynamics
    • three-dimensionality
    • Liguid flow mechanics

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