Numerical investigation of director orientation and flow of nematic liquid crystal in a planar 1:4 expansion

Pedro A. Cruz, Murilo F. Tome, Iain Stewart, Sean Mckee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Numerical solutions to the equations describing Ericksen–Leslie dynamic theory for 2D nematic liquid crystal flows subject to a magnetic field are obtained. The governing equations are solved by a finite difference technique based on the GENSMAC methodology. The resulting numerical technique was verified by comparing numerical solutions for 2D-channel flow by means of mesh refinement. To demonstrate the capabilities of this method, the flow of a nematic liquid crystal in a planar 1:4 expansion was simulated. Calculations were performed for various Ericksen and Reynolds numbers. The results showed that an increase in the Ericksen number caused the appearance of lip and corner vortices.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1017-1030
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Mechanics of Materials and Structures
Issue number7-8
Publication statusPublished - 21 Dec 2011



  • nematic liquid crystal
  • Ericksen–Leslie equations
  • finite difference
  • two-dimensional flow

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