The effect of varying degrees of stenosis on transition to turbulence in oscillatory flows

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Many complications in physiology are associated with a deviation in flow in arteries due to a stenosis. The presence of stenosis may transition the flow to weak turbulence. The degree of stenosis as well as its configuration whether symmetric or non-symmetric to the parent artery influences whether the flow would stay laminar or transition to turbulence. Plenty of research efforts focus on investigating the role of varying degrees of stenosis in the onset of turbulence under steady and pulsatile flow conditions. None of the studies, however, have focused on investigating this under oscillatory flow conditions as flow reversal is a major occurrence in a number of physiologic flows, and is of particular relevance in cerebrospinal fluid flow research. Following up on the previous work in which a 75 % stenosis was studied, this contribution is a detailed investigation of the role of degrees of stenosis on transition in an oscillatory flow. A cylindrical pipe with 25 % , 50 % and 60 % reductions in area in axisymmetric and eccentric configurations is studied for transition with 3 different pulsation frequencies of a purely oscillatory flow. Cycle averaged Reynolds numbers between 1800 and 2100 in steps of 100 are studied for each configuration resulting in 72 simulations each conducted on 76,800 CPU cores of a modern supercomputer. It is found that a higher degree of stenosis and eccentricity causes earlier transition to turbulence in oscillatory flow. The results further demonstrate that a higher frequency of oscillation results in larger hydrodynamic instability in the flow, which is more prominent in smaller degrees of stenosis.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1029-1041
Number of pages13
JournalBiomechanics and modeling in mechanobiology
Issue number3
Early online date20 Apr 2022
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2022


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