The phenomenon of drag reduction (known as the “Toms effect”) has many industrial and engineering applications, but a definitive molecular-level theory has not yet been constructed. This is due both to the multiscale nature of complex fluids and to the difficulty of directly observing self-assembled structures in nonequilibrium states. On the basis of a large-scale coarse-grained molecular simulation that we conducted, we propose a possible mechanism of turbulence suppression in surfactant aqueous solution. We demonstrate that maintaining sufficiently large micellar structures and a homogeneous radial distribution of surfactant molecules is necessary to obtain the drag-reduction effect. This is the first molecular-simulation evidence that a micellar structure is responsible for drag reduction in pipe flow, and should help in understanding the mechanisms underlying drag reduction by surfactant molecules under nonequilibrium conditions.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- コンピュータ サイエンスの応用