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RESEARCH PAPERS

Effect of Vessel Tapering on the Transition to Turbulent Flow: Implications in the Cardiovascular System

[+] Author and Article Information
F. J. Walburn, P. D. Stein

Department of Medicine, Division of Cardiovascular Medicine and Department of Surgery, Henry Ford Hospital, Detroit, Mich. 48202

J Biomech Eng 103(2), 116-120 (May 01, 1981) (5 pages) doi:10.1115/1.3138254 History: Received February 19, 1980; Revised January 21, 1981; Online June 15, 2009

Abstract

The purpose of this study is to explore the effect of tapering upon the tendency of flow to become turbulent in straight symmetric tubes. Velocity was measured with a laser Doppler anemometer in plexiglass tubes which tapered 0.5 deg, 1.5 deg, and 2.5 deg measured from the centerline to the wall. These angles were comparable to the angles of tapering observed in the abdominal aorta of normal subjects, 1.5 deg ± 0.2 deg (mean ± SEM) (range 0 deg to 3 deg). The transition Reynolds number (based on the diameter of the tube at the piont of measurement) increased as the angle of tapering increased. When the angle of tapering was constant, the transition Reynolds number increased with increasing distance into the tapered section. These observations suggest that tapering of the abdominal aorta tends to promote laminar flow.

Copyright © 1981 by ASME
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