Elevated turbulent shear stresses associated with sufficient exposure times are potentially damaging to blood constituents. Since these conditions can be induced by mechanical heart valves, the objectives of this study were to locate the maximum turbulent shear stress in both space and time and to determine how the maximum turbulent shear stress depends on the cardiac flow rate in a pulsatile flow downstream of a tilting disk valve. Two-component, simultaneous, correlated laser velocimeter measurements were recorded at four different axial locations and three different flow rates in a straight tube model of the aorta. All velocity data were ensemble averaged within a 15 ms time window located at approximately peak systolic flow over more than 300 cycles. Shear stresses as high as 992 dynes/cm2 were found 0.92 tube diameters downstream of the monostrut, disk valve. The maximum turbulent shear stress was found to scale with flow rate to the 0.72 power. A repeatable starting vortex was shed from the disk at the beginning of each cycle.

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