Letter | Published:

Polymer drag reduction in Taylor vortices

Naturevolume 257pages304305 (1975) | Download Citation



THE Toms effect1, whereby the addition of small quantities of polymer can typically produce 50% reduction in drag, occurs in turbulent flow systems. We report preliminary observations of a similar drag reduction behaviour observed in a Couette apparatus when toroidal Taylor vortices2 are generated by rotating the inner of two concentric cylinders at sufficient speed; in this case the flow field is well understood and does not vary with time.

Access optionsAccess options

Rent or Buy article

Get time limited or full article access on ReadCube.


All prices are NET prices.


  1. 1

    Toms, B. A., Proc. First Int. Congr. Rheology, 135–141 (Scheveningen, 1949).

  2. 2

    Taylor, G. I., Phil. Trans. R. Soc., A 223, 289–343 (1923).

  3. 3

    Peterlin, A., Pure appl. Chem., 12, 563–586 (1966).

  4. 4

    Pennings, A. J., van der Mark, J. M. A. A., and Booij, H. C., Kolloidzeitschrift, 236, 99–111 (1969).

  5. 5

    Rubin, H., and Elata, C., Phys. Fluids, 9, 1929–1933 (1966).

  6. 6

    Jones, W. M., and Marshall, D. E., Br. J. appl. Phys., Series 2, 2, 809–814 (1969).

  7. 7

    Thomas, J. M., Evans, J. R. N., Lewis, T. J., and Seeker, P., Nature, 222, 373–374 (1969).

  8. 8

    Hayes, J. W., and Hutton, J. F., Progr. Heat and Mass Transfer, 5, 195–209 (1972).

  9. 9

    Peterlin, A., Nature, 227, 598–599 (1970).

Download references

Author information

Author notes

    • G. KISS

    Present address: Polymer Science and Engineering Laboratory, University of Massachusetts, Amherst, Massachusetts, 01002


  1. H. H. Wills Physics Laboratory, University of Bristol, Tyndall Avenue, Bristol, BS8 1TL, UK

    • A. KELLER
    • , G. KISS
    •  & M. R. MACKLEY


  1. Search for A. KELLER in:

  2. Search for G. KISS in:

  3. Search for M. R. MACKLEY in:

About this article

Publication history



Issue Date



Further reading


By submitting a comment you agree to abide by our Terms and Community Guidelines. If you find something abusive or that does not comply with our terms or guidelines please flag it as inappropriate.