Elasto-inertial turbulence

Devranjan Samanta, Yves Dubief, Markus Holzner, Christof Schafer, Alexander Morozov, Christian Wagner, Bjoern Hof

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Turbulence is ubiquitous in nature, yet even for the case of ordinary Newtonian fluids like water, our understanding of this phenomenon is limited. Many liquids of practical importance are more complicated (e.g., blood, polymer melts, paints), however; they exhibit elastic as well as viscous characteristics, and the relation between stress and strain is nonlinear. We demonstrate here for a model system of such complex fluids that at high shear rates, turbulence is not simply modified as previously believed but is suppressed and replaced by a different type of disordered motion, elasto-inertial turbulence. Elasto-inertial turbulence is found to occur at much lower Reynolds numbers than Newtonian turbulence, and the dynamical properties differ significantly. The friction scaling observed coincides with the so-called “maximum drag reduction” asymptote, which is exhibited by a wide range of viscoelastic fluids.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)10557-10562
Number of pages6
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
Issue number26
Publication statusPublished - 25 Jun 2013


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