A mixer design for the pigtail braid
Binder, B. J. and Cox, Stephen M. A mixer design for the pigtail braid. Fluid Dynamics Research . ISSN 0169-5983 (In Press)
Official URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/journal/01695983
The stirring of a body of viscous fluid using multiple stirring rods is known to be particularly effective when the rods trace out a path corresponding to a nontrivial mathematical braid. The optimal braid is the so-called "pigtail braid", in which three stirring rods execute the usual "over-under" motion associated with braiding plaiting) hair. We show how to achieve this optimal braiding motion straightforwardly: one stirring rod is driven in a figure-of-eight motion, while the other two rods are baffles, which rotate episodically about their common centre. We also explore the extent to which the physical baffles may be replaced by flow structures (such as periodic islands).
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