Stokes flow within networks of flow branches

[+] Author and Article Information
Mustapha Hellou

LGCGM (Laboratoire de Génie Civil et Génie Mécanique) − EA3913, Univ Rennes, INSA Rennes, 35708, Rennes, France

Franck Lominé

LGCGM (Laboratoire de Génie Civil et Génie Mécanique) − EA3913, Univ Rennes, INSA Rennes, 35708, Rennes, France

1Corresponding author.

ASME doi:10.1115/1.4040832 History: Received June 20, 2017; Revised July 09, 2018


Stokes flow in the branches of structured looped networks with successive identical square loops and T-junction branches is studied. Analytical expressions of the flow rate in the branches are determined for network of one, two three or four loops with junction head loss neglected relative to regular one. Then, a general expression of the flow rate is deduced for networks with more loops. This expression contains particularly a sequence of coefficients obeying to a recurrence formula. This sequence is a part of the fusion of Fibonacci and Tribonacci sequences. Furthermore, a general formula that express the quotient of flow rate in successive junction flow branches is given. The limit of this quotient for an infinite number of junction branches is found to be equal to 2+p3. When the inlet and outlet flow rates are equal, this quotient obeys to a sequence of invariant numbers whatever the ratio of flow rate in the outlet branches is. Thus, the flow rate distribution for any configuration of inlet and outlet flow rates can be calculated. This study is also performed using Hardy-Cross method and a commercial solver of Navier-Stokes equation. The analytical results are approached very well with Hardy-Cross method. The numerical resolution agrees also with analytical results. However, the difference with the numerical results become significant for low flow rate in the junction branches. The flow streamlines are then determined for some inlet and outlet flow rate configurations. They particularly illustrate that recirculation flow takes place in branches of low flow rate.

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