In the simplest and original case of study of the Taylor–Couette TC problems, the fluid is contained between a fixed outer cylinder and a concentric inner cylinder which rotates at constant angular velocity. Much of the works done has been concerned on steady rotating cylinder(s) i.e. rotating cylinders with constant velocity and the various transitions that take place as the cylinder(s) velocity (ies) is (are) steadily increased. On this work, we concentrated our attention in the case in which the inner cylinder velocity is not constant, but oscillates harmonically (in time) clockwise and counter-clockwise while the outer cylinder is maintained fixed. Our aim is to attempt to answer the question if the modulation makes the flow more or less stable with respect to the vortices apparition than in the steady case. If the modulation amplitude is large enough to destabilise the circular Couette flow, two classes of axisymmetric Taylor vortex flow are possible: reversing Taylor Vortex Flow (RTVF) and Non-Reversing Taylor Vortex Flow (NRTVF) (Youd et al., 2003; Lopez and Marques, 2002). Our work presents an experimental investigation of the effect of oscillatory Couette-Taylor flow, i.e. both the oscillation frequency and amplitude on the apparition of RTVF and NRTVF by analysing the instantaneous and local mass transfer and wall shear rates evolutions, i.e. the impact of vortices at wall. The vortices may manifest themselves by the presence of time-oscillations of mass transfer and wall shear rates, this generally corresponds to an instability apparition even for steady rotating cylinder. On laminar CT flow, the time-evolution of wall shear rate is linear. It may be presented as a linear function of the angular velocity, i.e. the evolution is steady even if the angular velocity is not steady. At a “critical” frequency and amplitude, the laminar CT flow is disturbed and Taylor vortices appear. Comparing to a steady velocity case, oscillatory flow accelerate the instability apparition, i.e. the critical Taylor number corresponds to the transition is smaller than that of the steady case. For high oscillation amplitudes of the inner cylinder rotation, the mass transfer time-evolution has a sinusoidal evolution with non equal oscillation amplitudes. If the oscillation amplitude is large enough, it can destabilize the laminar Couette flow, Taylor vortices appears. The vortices direction can be deduced from the sign of the instantaneous wall shear rate time evolution.

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