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The structure of turbulence in pulsatile pipe flows

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This paper describes the fundamental feature of pulsatile transitional and fully turbulent pipe flows. First, the effect of pulsation on the behavior of turbulent slugs in the developing region of circular pipe is clarified. Second, the distributions of turbulence intensity and Reynolds shear stress in fully turbulent pulsatile pipe flow are compared with their respective distributions in fully turbulent steady pipe flow. Generation region of turbulence and radial propagation time of the turbulence are determined from these distributions. Finally the turbulence structure in pulsatile pipe flows with and without relaminarization, i. e., reverse transition, is made clear by means of the conditional sampling method based on the four quadrant classification.

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A :

Cross-sectional area of pipe

A 1 :

Velocity amplitude ratio

D :

Pipe diameter=2R

f :

Pulsation frequency

N :


R :

Pipe radius

Re ta :

Time-averaged Reynolds\(number = \bar u_{m,ta} \) D/v

t :


Δt :

Time delay\(\{ = (\angle \bar u_{m,os,1} - \angle u'_{rms,os,1} )/\omega \} \)

u m :

Cross-sectional mean velocity

u rms ,v rms ,w rms :

Root mean square values of axial, radial, and tangential turbulence components

u *,ta :

Time-averaged friction velocity

\(\overline {u'v'} \) :

Reynolds shear stress divided by fluid density

x, r, θ:

Axial, radial, tangential coordinates

y :

Distance from wall

y + :

y \(\bar u_{*,ta} /v\)


Kinematic viscosity


Angular frequency=2πf

ω+ :

Dimensionless frequency=R 2ω/ν

C :

Central value

g :

Turbulence generation

OS :

Oscillating component

ta :

Time-averaged value

|, ∠:

Amplitude and phase angle


Ensemble averaged value


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Correspondence to Manabu Iguchi.

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Iguchi, M., Park, G. & Koh, Y. The structure of turbulence in pulsatile pipe flows. KSME Journal 7, 185–193 (1993). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF02970963

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Key Words

  • Unsteady Flow
  • Pulsatile Pipe Flow
  • Turbulent Slug
  • Turbulence Structure
  • Conditional Sampling
  • Relaminarization