Effect of upstream flow processes on hydrodynamic development in a duct

E. M. Sparrow, C. E. Anderson

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15 Scopus citations


Consideration is given to the developing laminar flow in a parallel plate channel, with the fluid being drawn from a large upstream space. The flow fields upstream and downstream of the channel inlet were solved simultaneously. A finite-difference technique was employed which was facilitated by a coordinate transformation that telescoped the broadly extended flow domain into a more compact size. For the solutions, the Reynolds number was assigned values from 1 to 1000, covering the range from viscous-dominated flows to those where both viscous and inertia effects are relevant. Streamline maps indicate that whereas a low Reynolds number flow glides smoothly into the channel, a high Reynolds number flow has to turn sharply to enter the channel, with the result that the sharply turning fluid tends to overshoot at first and then readjust. A significant amount of upstream predevelopment occurs at low and intermediate Reynolds numbers. Thus, for example, at Re = 1 and 100, the center-line velocities at inlet are, respectively, 1.37 and 1.18 times the mean velocity (the fully developed center-line velocity is 1.5 times the mean). The upstream pressure drop, measured in terms of the velocity head, is substantially increased by viscous effects at low and intermediate Reynolds numbers.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)556-560
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Fluids Engineering, Transactions of the ASME
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 1977


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