Simultaneous measurements of velocity and deformation in flows through compliant diaphragms

D. M. Amatya, E. K. Longmire

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6 Scopus citations


Flow through a circular orifice in a deformable diaphragm mounted in a pipe was studied experimentally as a simple yet suitable case for validating numerical fluid/structure interaction (FSI) codes including structures with significant deformation and strain. The flow was characterized using pressure taps, particle image velocimetry (PIV), and hot-film anemometry while deformation of the compliant diaphragm was determined directly from PIV images. The diaphragm material properties were measured independently by a uniaxial tensile testing machine. The diaphragm material modulus, orifice diameter, and pipe Reynolds number were varied over ranges appropriate for simulations of flows through heart valves. Pipe Reynolds numbers ranged from 600 (laminar upstream condition) to 8800 (turbulent upstream condition). The pressure drop across the diaphragm resulted in a concave deformation for all cases studied. For the range of Reynolds number tested, the Euler number decreased with increasing Reynolds number as a result of orifice expansion. The flow immediately downstream of compliant diaphragms was jet-like with strong inward radial velocity components and vena contracta. Laminar low Reynolds number flow (Re=600) through both rigid and compliant diaphragms yielded early and regular roll up of coherent vortex rings at a fixed frequency in contrast to turbulent higher Reynolds number flow (Re=3900), which yielded a broad range of vortex passage frequencies. Expansion of the compliant orifice for Re=3900 resulted in an initially broader slower jet with delayed shear layer development compared with the equivalent rigid case.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)218-235
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of Fluids and Structures
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2010

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The authors gratefully acknowledge support for this work from NIH (NIH/NHLBI 1R01HL071538-01).


  • Deformable diaphragm
  • Fluid-structure interaction
  • Heart valve
  • Jets
  • Orifice flow
  • PIV


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