Bifurcation phenomena in incompressible sudden expansion flows

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A numerical study of laminar incompressible flows in symmetric plane sudden expansions was carried out. Computations were performed for various Reynolds number and expansion ratios. The results revealed that the flow remains symmetric up to a certain Reynolds number depending on the expansion ratio, while asymmetries appear at higher Reynolds numbers. The computations indicated that the critical Reynolds number of the symmetry-breaking bifurcation reduces when increasing the expansion ratio while the flow regains symmetry downstream of an initial channel length. The flow asymmetries were verified by comparing several discretization schemes up to fourth order of accuracy as well as various iterative solvers.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)76-87
Number of pages12
JournalPhysics of Fluids
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 1997
Externally publishedYes


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