Combined polymer and microbubble drag reduction on a large flat plate

Steven Deutsch, Arnold Anthony Fontaine, Michael J. Moeny, Howard L. Petrie

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


Drag-reduction experiments with combined injection of high-molecular-weight long-chained polymers and microbubbles were conducted on a 3.1 m long flat plate model in the 1.22 m diameter water tunnel at the Applied Research Laboratory of the Pennsylvania State University. Combined gas injection upstream of polymer injection produced, over a wide range of test conditions, higher levels of drag reduction than those obtained from the independent injection of polymer or microbubbles alone. These increased levels of drag reduction with combined injection were often greater than the product of the drag reductions obtained by the independent constituents, defined as synergy. We speculate that the synergy is a result of the gas-layer-induced extension of the polymer-alone initial diffusion zone in combination with the increased drag reduction by microbubbles. This increased length of the initial zone layer, consistent with high drag reduction, can significantly increase the persistence of the drag reduction and may improve the outlook for practical application.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)309-327
Number of pages19
JournalJournal of Fluid Mechanics
StatePublished - Jun 10 2006

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering


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