Elastic Turbulence in Shear Banding Wormlike Micelles

By M. A. Fardin, D. Lopez, J. Croso, G. Gre O. Cardoso, G. H. McKinley, and S. Lerouge


We study the dynamics of the Taylor-Couette  flow of shear banding wormlike micelles. We focus on the high shear rate branch of the  flow curve and show that for sufficiently high Weissenberg numbers, this branch becomes unstable. This instability is strongly subcritical and is associated with a shear stress jump. We find that this increase of the  flow resistance is related to the nucleation of turbulence. The flow pattern shows similarities with the elastic turbulence, so far only observed for polymer solutions. The unstable character of this branch led us to propose a scenario that could account for the recent observations of Taylor-like vortices during the shear banding flow of wormlike micelles.