Laminar, transitional, and turbulent flows in rotor-stator cavities

Brian Launder, Sébastien Poncet, Eric Serre

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    This article reviews the range of flows that may be created within thin cylindrical or annular cavities due to the rotation of one of the confining disks. At low Reynolds numbers, the rotation gives rise to an axisymmetric, radially outward motion near the rotor with a return flow along the stationary disk. As the Reynolds number is raised, this base flow gives way to a shear flow populated by discrete vortices, whether of cylindrical or spiral form, near both the rotating and stationary disks. At Reynolds numbers high enough for turbulent flow to occur, in the twentieth century both experimental and computational studies treated the flow as axisymmetric and steady. Recent research has shown, however, that complex organized structures also persist in the turbulent regime. Copyright © 2010 by Annual Reviews. All rights reserved.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)229-248
    Number of pages19
    JournalAnnual Review of Fluid Mechanics
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2010


    • Cross-flow instability
    • Ekman layer
    • LES
    • RANS closures
    • Rotor-stator cavity
    • Three-dimensional boundary layer


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