Abstract

Flow-induced hemolysis remains a concern for blood-contacting devices, and computer-based prediction of hemolysis could facilitate faster and more economical refinement of such devices. While evaluation of convergence of velocity fields obtained by computational fluid dynamics (CFD) simulations has become conventional, convergence of hemolysis calculations is also essential. In this paper, convergence of the power-law hemolysis model is compared for simple flows, including pathlines with exponentially increasing and decreasing stress, in gradually expanding and contracting Couette flows, in a sudden radial expansion and in the FDA channel. In the exponential cases, convergence along a pathline required from one to tens of thousands of timesteps, depending on the exponent. Greater timesteps were required for rapidly increasing (large exponent) stress and for rapidly decreasing (small exponent) stress. Example pathlines in the Couette flows could be fit with exponential curves, and convergence behavior followed the trends identified from the exponential cases. More complex flows, such as in the radial expansion and the FDA channel, increase the likelihood of encountering problematic pathlines. For the exponential cases, comparison of converged hemolysis values with analytical solutions demonstrated that the error of the converged solution may exceed 10% for both rapidly decreasing and rapidly increasing stress.

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