Steady flow of an incompressible, Newtonian fluid through a symmetric bifurcated rigid channel was numerically analyzed by solving the three-dimensional Navier-Stokes equations. The upstream Reynolds number ranged from 100 to 1500. The bifurcation was symmetrical with a branch angle of 60 deg and the area ratio of the daughter to the mother vessel was 2.0. The numerical procedure utilized a coordinate transformation and a control volume approach to discretize the equations to finite difference form and incorporated the SIMPLE algorithm in performing the calculation. The predicted velocity pattern was in qualitative agreement with experimental measurements available in the literature. The results also showed the effect of secondary flow which can not be predicted using previous two-dimensional simulations. A region of reversed flow was observed near the outer wall of the branch except for the case of the lowest Reynolds number. Particle trajectory was examined and it was found that no fluid particles remained within the recirculation zone. The shear stress was calculated on both the inner and the outer wall of the branch. The largest wall shear stress, located in the vicinity of the apex of the branch, was of the same order of magnitude as the level that can cause damage to the vessel wall as reported in a recent study.

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