The swirling flow of viscoelastic fluid in a cylindrical casing is investigated experimentally, using aqueous solutions of 0.05–1.0 wt% polyacrylamide as the working fluid. The velocity measurements are made using laser Doppler anemometer. The aspect ratios H/R (H: axial length of cylindrical casing, R: radius of rotating disc) investigated are 2.0, 1.0 and 0.3. The Reynolds numbers Re0 based on the zero shear viscosity and the disc tip velocity are between 0.36 and 50. The velocity measurements are mainly conducted for the circumferential velocity component. The experimental velocity data are compared with the velocity profiles obtained by numerical simulations using Giesekus model and power-law model. It is revealed that at any aspect ratios tested the dimensionless circumferential velocity component Vθ’ decreases with increasing Weissenberg number We. The Giesekus model could predict this retardation of circumferential velocity fairly well at small We, but the power-law model could not. The extent of the inverse flow region where the fluid rotates in the direction opposite to the rotating disc is clarified in detail.

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