Laminar flow of a nonlinear viscoplastic fluid through an axisymmetric sudden expansion

Khaled J. Hammad, M. Volkan Ötügen, George C. Vradis, Engin B. Arik

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


A combined experimental and computational study was carried out to investigate the laminar flow of a nonlinear viscoplastic fluid through an axisymmetric sudden expansion. The yield-stress, power-law index, and the consistency index of the yield shear-thinning test fluid were 0.733 Pa, 0.68, and 0.33 Pa · s068, respectively, resulting in a Hedstrom number of 1.65. The Reynolds number ranged between 1.8 and 58.7. In addition, the flow of a Newtonian fluid through the same expansion was also studied to form a baseline for comparison. Velocity vectors were obtained on the vertical center plane using a digital particle image velocimeter (PIV). From these measurements, two-dimensional distributions of axial and radial velocity as well as the stream function were calculated covering the separated, reattached and redeveloping flow regions. These results were compared to finite difference numerical solutions of the governing continuity and fully-elliptic momentum equations. The calculations were found to be in good agreement with the experimental results. Both computational and experimental results indicate the existence of two distinct flow regimes. For low Reynolds numbers, a region of nonmoving fluid is observed immediately downstream of the step and no separated flow zone exists. For the higher Reynolds numbers, a recirculating flow zone forms downstream of the expansion step, which is followed by a zone of stagnant fluid adjacent to pipe wall characterizing reattachment.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)488-495
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Fluids Engineering, Transactions of the ASME
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 1999


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Mechanical Engineering

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