A study of the recirculating flow in planar, symmetrical branching channels

Yeng-Yung Tsui*, Chih Yu Lu

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


A numerical method is employed to examine the flow in symmetrical, two-dimensional branches of Y shape and Tee shape. The methodology is based on a pressure-correction procedure within the frame of unstructured grids. Specified pressures are imposed at the outlets of the two branches. The area ratio of the branch is allowed to vary in the range of 2-3. Separation of the flow in the bifurcating region is inevitable. With equal outlet pressures, symmetrical flow patterns prevail except for the Y type branch under the conditions of high Reynolds numbers and large area ratios. This implies that the Y-branch flow is more sensitive to small disturbances. It is shown that with a slightly higher pressure imposed on one of the two branches the structure of the recirculating flow for the Y type is greatly affected and the flow rate is reduced dramatically in the high-pressure branch channel. In contrast, the influence on the Tee type branch is much lower since the flow behaves like a jet impinging on a confined duct.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)235-253
Number of pages19
JournalInternational Journal for Numerical Methods in Fluids
Issue number2
StatePublished - 20 Jan 2006


  • Branching flows
  • Pressure boundary conditions
  • Recirculating vortices
  • Symmetry breaking
  • Unstructured grids

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