The analysis of the near-wake flow downstream of a flat plate is reported in this paper for the case of a non-Newtonian (power-law) constitutive model. To our knowledge, the present paper is the first to address this problem, as previous work on near-wakes has been limited to the use of a Newtonian model. The motivation for this work comes from the biomedical engineering problem of blood flow around the bileaflet of a mechanical heart valve. In the present paper, the series method has been used to calculate the flow near the centerline of the wake, while an asymptotic method has been used for larger distances from the centerline. The effects of power-law inlet conditions on the wake flow are reported for various values of the power-law index n, within the range 0.7n1.3. The present analysis has been successfully validated by comparing the results for n=1 to the near-wake results by Goldstein [Proc. Cambridge Philos. Soc.26, 1 (1930)]. We generalized the equations for arbitrary values of n, without any special considerations for n=1. Therefore, the accurate results observed for n=1 validate our procedure as a whole. The first major finding is that a fluid with smaller n develops faster downstream, such that decreasing n leads to monotonically increasing velocities compared to fluids with large n values. Another finding is that the non-Newtonian effects become more significant as the downstream distance increases. Finally, these effects tend to be more pronounced in the vicinity of the wake centerline compared to larger y locations.

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