The flow distribution and pressure drop of steady airflow in the human central airways were studied experimentally using an anatomically correct, selective laser sintered (SLS) human tracheobronchial airway model. Measurements were made for tracheal flow rates ranging from 0.1 to 2.67 liters per second, which correspond to normal physiological flow ranges. The mean air velocities at the exit orifices of the airway model were detected by means of a pitot static tube connected to a pressure transducer. The flow rates, the average velocities, and the Reynolds numbers in each branch of the airway model were then computed. In addition, the static pressure difference between the trachea and the airway exits was measured. The experimental measurements were used to determine the relationship between pressure drop and flow rate. The ratio of inlet to total exit area of the model was identified as a significant factor that influenced the pressure drop. The results obtained in the present study will be particularly useful for validating computational studies.

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