Well-posedness results for a class of complex flow problems in the high Weissenberg number limit

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Virginia Tech


For simple fluids, or Newtonian fluids, the study of the Navier-Stokes equations in the high Reynolds number limit brings about two fundamental research subjects, the Euler equations and the Prandtl's system. The consideration of infinite Reynolds number reduces the Navier-Stokes equations to the Euler equations, both of which are dealing with the entire flow region. Prandtl's system consists of the governing equations of the boundary layer, a thin layer formed at the wall boundary where viscosity cannot be neglected.

In this dissertation, we investigate the upper convected Maxwell(UCM) model for complex fluids, or non-Newtonian fluids, in the high Weissenberg number limit. This is analogous to the Newtonian fluids in the high Reynolds number limit. We present two well-posedness results.

The first result is on an initial-boundary value problem for incompressible hypoelastic materials which arise as a high Weissenberg number limit of viscoelastic fluids. We first assume the stress tensor is rank-one and develop energy estimates to show the problem is locally well-posed. Then we show the more general case can be handled in the same spirit. This problem is closely related to the incompressible ideal magneto-hydrodynamics (MHD) system.

The second result addresses the formulation of a time-dependent elastic boundary layer through scaling analysis. We show the well-posedness of this boundary layer by transforming to Lagrangian coordinates. In contrast to the possible ill-posedness of Prandtl's system in Newtonian fluids, we prove that in non-Newtonian fluids the stress boundary layer problem is well-posed.



mollifier, symmetric hyperbolic system, curvilinear coordinates, stress boundary layer, scaling analysis, multiscale modeling, Lagrangian coordinates