Purpose - The purpose of this paper is to study numerically and experimentally incompressible Newtonian flow in a three-dimensional cylindrical branching channel. Design/methodology/approach - The flow configuration studied in the present investigation is such that a fully developed laminar flow enters an abruptly expanded cylinder and the flow leaves this cylinder by two identical cylindrical outlet branch pipes. A numerical analysis was performed by developing a three-dimensional numerical code using the highly simplified marker and cell method. Representative velocities in the flow field are recorded by Laser Doppler Velocimeter measurements and volume flow rate from each outlet branch pipe is measured. Flow visualization in representative symmetrical planes is also carried out. Comparisons of numerical predictions and experimental data are presented and the reasonable agreement between the numerical and experimental results is encouraging. Findings - The flow field in the three-dimensional cylindrical branching channel is clarified within the range of laminar flow. The characteristics of the branch flow rate are obtained and show that there exist two distinct domains of strong asymmetric flow distribution from the outlet branch pipes, depending on the Reynolds numbers. It is further observed that the flow became time periodic as the Reynolds number is increased. It becomes apparent that the swirl flow component plays a key role in the flow phenomena. Originality/value - The present investigation sheds light on the three-dimensionality in the prevailing flow field for various inlet Reynolds numbers in the laminar flow range. Flow rate deflection characteristics in a three-dimensional cylindrical branching channel are also obtained.
- Laminar flow
- Newton method
- Numerical analysis
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Computer Science Applications
- Computational Theory and Mathematics