The present work is motivated by the fact that blood flow in the aorta and the main arteries is governed by large finite values of the Womersley number α and for such values of α there is not any analytical solution in the literature. The existing numerical solutions, although accurate, give limited information about the factors that affect the flow, whereas an analytical approach has an advantage in that it can provide physical insight to the flow mechanism. Having this in mind, we seek analytical solution to the equations of the fluid flow driven by a sinusoidal pressure gradient in a slightly curved pipe of circular cross section when the Womersley number varies from small finite to infinite values. Initially the equations of motion are expanded in terms of the curvature ratio δ and the resulting linearized equations are solved analytically in two ways. In the first, we match the solution for the main core to that for the Stokes boundary layer. This solution is valid for very large values of α. In the second, we derive a straightforward single solution valid to the entire flow region and for 8 ≤ α < ∞, a range which includes the values of α that refer to the physiological flows. Each solution contains expressions for the axial velocity, the stream function, and the wall stresses and is compared to the analogous forms presented in other studies. The two solutions give identical results to each other regarding the axial flow but differ in the secondary flow and the circumferential wall stress, due to the approximations employed in the matched asymptotic expansion process. The results on the stream function from the second solution are in agreement with analogous results from other numerical solutions. The second solution predicts that the atherosclerotic plaques may develop in any location around the cross section of the aortic wall unlike to the prescribed locations predicted by the first solution. In addition, it gives circumferential wall stresses augmented by approximately 100% with respect to the matched asymptotic expansions, a factor that may contribute jointly with other pathological factors to the faster aging of the arterial system and the possible malfunction of the aorta.
Unsteady fluid flow in a slightly curved pipe: A comparative study of a matched asymptotic expansions solution with a single analytical solution
Gerasimos A. T. Messaris, Maria Hadjinicolaou, George T. Karahalios; Unsteady fluid flow in a slightly curved pipe: A comparative study of a matched asymptotic expansions solution with a single analytical solution. Physics of Fluids 1 August 2016; 28 (8): 081901. https://doi.org/10.1063/1.4960432
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