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Potential-based Formulations of the Navier-Stokes Equations and their Application

MARNER, FLORIAN,MINKUS (2019) Potential-based Formulations of the Navier-Stokes Equations and their Application. Doctoral thesis, Durham University.

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Based on a Clebsch-like velocity representation and a combination of classical variational principles for the special cases of ideal and Stokes flow a novel discontinuous Lagrangian is constructed; it bypasses the known problems associated with non-physical solutions and recovers the classical Navier-Stokes equations together with the balance of inner energy in the limit when an emerging characteristic frequency parameter tends to infinity. Additionally, a generalized Clebsch transformation for viscous flow is established for the first time. Next, an exact first integral of the unsteady, three-dimensional, incompressible Navier-Stokes equations is derived; following which gauge freedoms are explored leading to favourable reductions in the complexity of the equation set and number of unknowns, enabling a self-adjoint variational principle for steady viscous flow to be constructed. Concurrently, appropriate commonly occurring physical and auxiliary boundary conditions are prescribed, including establishment of a first integral for the dynamic boundary condition at a free surface. Starting from this new formulation, three classical flow problems are considered, the results obtained being in total agreement with solutions in the open literature.

A new least-squares finite element method based on the first integral of the steady two-dimensional, incompressible, Navier-Stokes equations is developed, with optimal convergence rates established theoretically. The method is analysed comprehensively, thoroughly validated and shown to be competitive when compared to a corresponding, standard, primitive-variable, finite element formulation. Implementation details are provided, and the well-known problem of mass conservation addressed and resolved via selective weighting. The attractive positive definiteness of the resulting linear systems enables employment of a customized scalable algebraic multigrid method for efficient error reduction. The solution of several engineering related problems from the fields of lubrication and film flow demonstrate the flexibility and efficiency of the proposed method, including the case of unsteady flow, while revealing new physical insights of interest in their own right.

Item Type:Thesis (Doctoral)
Award:Doctor of Philosophy
Keywords:Navier-Stokes equations; Viscous flow; Potential field representation; Finite element method; Multigrid methods; Lagrange formalism; Variational principle
Faculty and Department:Faculty of Science > Engineering, Department of
Thesis Date:2019
Copyright:Copyright of this thesis is held by the author
Deposited On:20 Sep 2019 10:09

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