The Steady Expiratory Pressure-Flow Relation in a Model Pulmonary Bifurcation

[+] Author and Article Information
J. M. Collins, A. H. Shapiro, E. Kimmel, R. D. Kamm

Fluid Mechanics Laboratory, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA 02139

J Biomech Eng 115(3), 299-305 (Aug 01, 1993) (7 pages) doi:10.1115/1.2895490 History: Received May 01, 1991; Revised August 13, 1992; Online March 17, 2008


Experiments were conducted over a range of Reynolds numbers from 50 to 8000 to study the pressure-flow relationship for a single bifurcation in a multi-generation model during steady expiratory flow. Using the energy equation, the measured static pressure drop was decomposed into separate components due to fluid acceleration and viscous energy dissipation. The frictional pressure drop was found to closely approximate that for an equivalent length of curved tube with the same curvature ratio as in the model bifurcation. The sensitivity of these results to changes in airway cross-sectional shape, non-planar configuration, and flow regime (laminar-turbulent) was investigated. In separate experiments using dye visualization and hot-wire anemometry, a transition to turbulent flow was observed at Reynolds numbers between 1000 and 1500. Transition had very little effect on the pressure-flow relation.

Copyright © 1993 by The American Society of Mechanical Engineers
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