The effect of a fluid’s elasticity has been investigated on the vortex breakdown phenomenon in confined swirling flow. Assuming that the fluid obeys upper-convected Maxwell model as its constitutive equation, the finite volume method together with a collocated mesh was used to calculate the velocity profiles and streamline pattern inside a typical lid-driven swirling flow at different Reynolds and Weissenberg numbers. The flow was to be steady and axisymmetric. Based on the results obtained in this work, it can be concluded that fluid’s elasticity has a strong effect on the secondary flow completely reversing its direction of rotation depending on the Weissenberg number. Even in swirling flows with low ratio of elasticity to inertia, vortex breakdown is postponed to higher Reynolds numbers. Also, the effect of retardation ratio on the flow structure of viscoelastic fluid with the Weissenberg number being constant was surveyed. Based on our results, by decreasing the retardation ratio the flow becomes Newtonian like.

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