The objective of this investigation is the study of the flow limitation behavior of thin-walled compliant tubes for the design of a flow regulator employing a collapsible tube as its active element. In this paper, the theoretical basis is set up for the high-Reynolds-number wave-speed flow regulation and the low-Reynolds-number frictional flow regulation behaviors of thin-walled compliant tubes. In Part II of this paper [1], experimental results and design criteria are provided in support of the analytically derived characteristic flow regulation curve for the wave-speed flow regulator.

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