Symmetry Breaking Instability in a Mixed Convection Problem

J. C. Cajas, L. Martínez-Suástegui, C. Treviño


In this work, the stability of a strongly non-parallel symmetrical counterflow mixed convection problem is studied, using numerically generated eigenfunctions. The base flow is numerically obtained for each value of the buoyancy parameter (Richardson number), and the stability of this flow is analyzed by increasing its value while all the others remained fixed. The perturbed linear functions are numerically generated by introducing a transient modulated asymmetrical buoyancy, relaxing at later times to ‘numerical eigenfunctions’. The time evolution of the amplitude of these perturbations is used to obtain the stability characteristics. Symmetry breaking instability occurs, for fixed geometry, Reynolds and Prandtl numbers, for values of the buoyancy parameter larger than a critical one. However, there is also a window for the buoyancy parameter below this critical value, where the system shows instability, producing a slightly asymmetric thermal and flow response.

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