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A slender body theory for the motion of special Cosserat filaments in Stokes flow

Ajeet Kumar's picture

The motion of filament-like structures in fluid media has been a topic of interest since long. In this regard, a well known slender body theory exists wherein the fluid flow is assumed to be Stokesian while the filament is modeled as a Kirchhoff rod which can bend and twist but remains inextensible and unshearable. In this work, we relax the inextensibility and unshearability constraints on filaments, i.e., the filament is modeled as a special Cosserat rod. Starting with the boundary integral formulation of Stokes flow involving the filament's surface velocity and fluid traction that acts on the filament surface, the method of matched asymptotic expansion is used to first obtain a leading order representation of the boundary integral kernels in the filament's aspect ratio. We then substitute Fourier series expansion (in filament's circumferential coordinate) of both the filament's surface velocity and fluid traction in the aforementioned leading order representation and further linearize it in the rod's shear strains to reduce the two-dimensional boundary integral over the filament surface into a line integral over the filament's centerline. Upon further collecting the coefficients of sine and cosine terms, the zeroth order Fourier mode yields a line integral equation relating the rod's centerline velocity with the distributed fluid force that acts on the filament. The presence of line integral makes the relation non-local in nature. On the other hand, the first order Fourier mode yields a simpler local relation between the rod's angular velocity and the distributed fluid couple. The line integral equation is shown to reduce to the classical slender body theory when shear strains and axial strain are set to zero. The non-dimensional governing equations of the special Cosserat rod are also derived accounting for the distributed fluid force and distributed fluid couple in them which are solved to obtain the filament motion. The presented theory is demonstrated with an example problem of the tumbling of filaments in background shear flow. We show that for relatively shorter filaments where the effect of shear and axial stretch is more dominant, the obtained results deviate from the ones based on the classical slender body theory.

The article will soon appear in Mathematics and Mechanics of Solids which can also be accessed at the following link:

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