Multilaboratory particle image velocimetry analysis of the FDA benchmark nozzle model to support validation of computational fluid dynamics simulations

Prasanna Hariharan, Matthew Giarra, Varun Reddy, Steven W. Day, Keefe B. Manning, Steven Deutsch, Sandy F.C. Stewart, Matthew R. Myers, Michael R. Berman, Greg W. Burgreen, Eric G. Paterson, Richard A. Malinauskas

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103 Scopus citations


This study is part of a FDA-sponsored project to evaluate the use and limitations of computational fluid dynamics (CFD) in assessing blood flow parameters related to medical device safety. In an interlaboratory study, fluid velocities and pressures were measured in a nozzle model to provide experimental validation for a companion round-robin CFD study. The simple benchmark nozzle model, which mimicked the flow fields in several medical devices, consisted of a gradual flow constriction, a narrow throat region, and a sudden expansion region where a fluid jet exited the center of the nozzle with recirculation zones near the model walls. Measurements of mean velocity and turbulent flow quantities were made in the benchmark device at three independent laboratories using particle image velocimetry (PIV). Flow measurements were performed over a range of nozzle throat Reynolds numbers (Rethroat) from 500 to 6500, covering the laminar, transitional, and turbulent flow regimes. A standard operating procedure was developed for performing experiments under controlled temperature and flow conditions and for minimizing systematic errors during PIV image acquisition and processing. For laminar (Rethroat=500) and turbulent flow conditions (Rethroat≥3500), the velocities measured by the three laboratories were similar with an interlaboratory uncertainty of ∼10% at most of the locations. However, for the transitional flow case (Rethroat=2000), the uncertainty in the size and the velocity of the jet at the nozzle exit increased to ∼60% and was very sensitive to the flow conditions. An error analysis showed that by minimizing the variability in the experimental parameters such as flow rate and fluid viscosity to less than 5% and by matching the inlet turbulence level between the laboratories, the uncertainties in the velocities of the transitional flow case could be reduced to ∼15%. The experimental procedure and flow results from this interlaboratory study (available at will be useful in validating CFD simulations of the benchmark nozzle model and in performing PIV studies on other medical device models.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number041002
JournalJournal of Biomechanical Engineering
Issue number4
StatePublished - Feb 17 2011

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Physiology (medical)


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