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The Saffman-Taylor problem for an extremely shear-thinning fluid

By Giles Richardson and J. King

Abstract

We consider a steady flow driven by pushing a finger of gas into a highly shear-thinning power-law fluid, with exponent n, in a Hele-Shaw channel. We formulate the problem in terms of the streamfunction , which satisfies the p-Laplacian equation (with ), and investigate travelling wave solutions in the large-n (extreme shear-thinning) limit. We take a Legendre transform of the free-boundary problem for , which reduces it to a linear problem on a fixed domain. The solution to this problem is found by using matched asymptotic expansions and the resulting shape of the finger deduced (being, to leading order, a semi-infinite strip). The nonlinear problem for the streamfunction is also treated using matched asymptotic expansion in the physical plane. The finger-width selection problem is briefly discussed in terms of our results. <br/

Year: 2007
OAI identifier: oai:eprints.soton.ac.uk:156347
Provided by: e-Prints Soton

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