Detailed velocity measurements and numerical predictions are presented for the flow through a plane nominally two-dimensional duct with a Symmetric sudden expansion of area ratio 1:2. Both the experiments and the predictions confirm a symmetry-breaking bifurcation of the flow leading to one long and one short Separation zone for channel Reynolds numbers above 125, based on the upstream channel height and the maximum flow velocity upstream. With increasing Reynolds numbers above this value, the short separated region remains approximately constant in length whereas the long region increases in length.
The experimental data were obtained using a one-component laser-Doppler anemometer at many Reynolds number values, with more extensive measurements being performed for the three Reynolds numbers 70, 300 and 610. Predictions were made using a finite volume method and an explicit quadratic Leith type of temporal discretization. In general, good agreement was found between measured and predicted velocity profiles for all Reynolds numbers investigated.
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