The Taylor–Couette flow is a classical fluid mechanics problem that exhibits, depending on the Reynolds number, a range of flow patterns, with the interesting ones having small-scale structures, and sometimes even wavy nature. Accurate representation of these flow patterns in computational flow analysis requires methods that can, with a reasonable computational cost, represent the circular geometry accurately and provide a high-fidelity flow solution. We use the Space–Time Variational Multiscale (ST-VMS) method with ST isogeometric discretization to address these computational challenges and to evaluate how the method and discretization perform under different scenarios of computing the Taylor–Couette flow. We conduct the computational analysis with different combinations of the Reynolds numbers based on the inner and outer cylinder rotation speeds, with different choices of the reference frame, one of which leads to rotating the mesh, with the full-domain and rotational-periodicity representations of the flow field, with both the convective and conservative forms of the ST-VMS, with both the strong and weak enforcement of the prescribed velocities on the cylinder surfaces, and with different mesh refinements. The ST framework provides higher-order accuracy in general, and the VMS feature of the ST-VMS addresses the computational challenges associated with the multiscale nature of the flow. The ST isogeometric discretization enables exact representation of the circular geometry and increased accuracy in the flow solution. In computations where the mesh is rotating, the ST/NURBS Mesh Update Method, with NURBS basis functions in time, enables exact representation of the mesh rotation, in terms of both the paths of the mesh points and the velocity of the points along their paths. In computations with rotational-periodicity representation of the flow field, the periodicity is enforced with the ST Slip Interface method. With the combinations of the Reynolds numbers used in the computations, we cover the cases leading to the Taylor vortex flow and the wavy vortex flow, where the waves are in motion. Our work shows that all these ST methods, integrated together, offer a high-fidelity computational analysis platform for the Taylor–Couette flow and for other classes of flow problems with similar features.
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