Pulsatile pipe flow transition: Flow waveform effects

Melissa C. Brindise, Pavlos P. Vlachos

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


Although transition is known to exist in various hemodynamic environments, the mechanisms that govern this flow regime and their subsequent effects on biological parameters are not well understood. Previous studies have investigated transition in pulsatile pipe flow using non-physiological sinusoidal waveforms at various Womersley numbers but have produced conflicting results, and multiple input waveform shapes have yet to be explored. In this work, we investigate the effect of the input pulsatile waveform shape on the mechanisms that drive the onset and development of transition using particle image velocimetry, three pulsatile waveforms, and six mean Reynolds numbers. The turbulent kinetic energy budget including dissipation rate, production, and pressure diffusion was computed. The results show that the waveform with a longer deceleration phase duration induced the earliest onset of transition, while the waveform with a longer acceleration period delayed the onset of transition. In accord with the findings of prior studies, for all test cases, turbulence was observed to be produced at the wall and either dissipated or redistributed into the core flow by pressure waves, depending on the mean Reynolds number. Turbulent production increased with increasing temporal velocity gradients until an asymptotic limit was reached. The turbulence dissipation rate was shown to be independent of mean Reynolds number, but a relationship between the temporal gradients of the input velocity waveform and the rate of turbulence dissipation was found. In general, these results demonstrated that the shape of the input pulsatile waveform directly affected the onset and development of transition.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number015111
JournalPhysics of Fluids
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2018

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Computational Mechanics
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Fluid Flow and Transfer Processes


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