The effect of drag reducing additive on the structure of turbulence in concentric annular pipe flow was investigated using Particle Image Velocimetry (PIV) technique. Experiments were conducted using a 9m long horizontal flow loop with concentric annular geometry (inner to outer pipe radius ratio = 0.4). The drag reducing additive was a commercially available partially hydrolyzed polyacrylamide (PHPA). The experiments were conducted using 0.1% V/V polymer concentration, giving a drag reduction of 26% at a solvent Reynolds number equal to 56400.
Near wall local fluctuating velocity values were determined by analysing the PIV data. The root mean square (RMS) values of radial velocity fluctuations showed a significant decrease with the use of drag reducing additive. The RMS values of axial velocity fluctuations near the wall (Y+<10) were similar for both water and polymer fluid flow; though, higher peaks were obtained during the polymer fluid flow.
As compared to water flow, a strong reduction in vorticity was observed during polymer fluid flow. The degree of vorticity reduction on the inner wall was higher than that of the outer wall.
Results of the viscous dissipation and the shear production terms in the kinetic energy budget showed that less energy was produced and dissipated by the route of turbulence when using polymer fluid.