Stability of a radially stretching disk beneath a uniformly rotating fluid
AbstractThe steady radial stretching of a disk beneath a rigidly rotating flow with constant angular velocity is considered. The steady base flow is determined numerically for both a stretching and a shrinking disk. The convective instability properties of the flow are examined using temporal stability analysis of the governing Rayleigh equation, and typically for small to moderate radial wave numbers, the range of azimuthal wave numbers β, over which the flow is unstable increases for both a stretched and a shrinking disk, compared to the unstretched case. The inviscid absolute instability properties of the resulting base flows are also examined using spatiotemporal stability analysis. For suitably large stretching rates, the flow is absolutely unstable in only a small range of positive β. For small stretching rates there exists a second region of absolute instability for a range of negative β values. In this region the “effective” two-dimensional base flow, comprised of a linear combination of the radial and azimuthal velocity profiles that enter the Rayleigh equation calculation, has a critical point (unlike for β>0) that can dominate the absolute instability growth rate contribution compared to the shear layer component. A similar behavior is found to occur for a radially shrinking disk, except these profiles have a strong shear layer structure and hence are more unstable than the stretching disk profiles. We thus find for a suitably large shrinking rate the absolute instability contribution from the critical point becomes subdominant to the shear layer contribution.