Flows through pipes and channels are, in practice, almost always turbulent, and the multiscale eddying motion is responsible for a major part of the encountered friction losses and pumping costs1. Conversely, for pulsatile flows, in particular for aortic blood flow, turbulence levels remain low despite relatively large peak velocities. For aortic blood flow, high turbulence levels are intolerable as they would damage the shear-sensitive endothelial cell layer2,3,4,5. Here we show that turbulence in ordinary pipe flow is diminished if the flow is driven in a pulsatile mode that incorporates all the key features of the cardiac waveform. At Reynolds numbers comparable to those of aortic blood flow, turbulence is largely inhibited, whereas at much higher speeds, the turbulent drag is reduced by more than 25%. This specific operation mode is more efficient when compared with steady driving, which is the present situation for virtually all fluid transport processes ranging from heating circuits to water, gas and oil pipelines.
We acknowledge the assistance of the Miba machine shop and the team of the ISTA-HPC cluster. We thank M. Quadrio for the discussions. The work was supported by the Simons Foundation (grant no. 662960) and by the Austrian Science Fund (grant no. I4188-N30), within Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft research unit FOR 2688.
Scarselli D, Lopez Alonso JM, Varshney A, Hof B. Turbulence suppression by cardiac-cycle-inspired driving of pipe flow. Nature. 2023;621(7977):71-74. doi:10.1038/s41586-023-06399-5
Scarselli, D., Lopez Alonso, J. M., Varshney, A., & Hof, B. (2023). Turbulence suppression by cardiac-cycle-inspired driving of pipe flow. Nature. Springer Nature. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41586-023-06399-5
Scarselli, Davide, Jose M Lopez Alonso, Atul Varshney, and Björn Hof. “Turbulence Suppression by Cardiac-Cycle-Inspired Driving of Pipe Flow.” Nature. Springer Nature, 2023. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41586-023-06399-5.
D. Scarselli, J. M. Lopez Alonso, A. Varshney, and B. Hof, “Turbulence suppression by cardiac-cycle-inspired driving of pipe flow,” Nature, vol. 621, no. 7977. Springer Nature, pp. 71–74, 2023.
Scarselli D, Lopez Alonso JM, Varshney A, Hof B. 2023. Turbulence suppression by cardiac-cycle-inspired driving of pipe flow. Nature. 621(7977), 71–74.
Scarselli, Davide, et al. “Turbulence Suppression by Cardiac-Cycle-Inspired Driving of Pipe Flow.” Nature, vol. 621, no. 7977, Springer Nature, 2023, pp. 71–74, doi:10.1038/s41586-023-06399-5.
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