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Lattice Boltzmann simulation of flow in the human upper airway

DOI: 10.1615/ICHMT.2006.TurbulHeatMassTransf.570
pages 305-308

C. G. Ball
Department of Mechanical and Materials Engineering, Queen's University, Kingston, Ontario, Canada

M. Uddin
Exa Corporation, Burlington Woods, Massachusetts, USA

Andrew Pollard
Department of Mechanical and Materials Engineering, Queen's University, Kingston, Ontario Canada K7L 3N6


The Lattice Boltzmann method (LBM) was used to conduct computational studies of the airflow inside an idealised human upper airway. Results from both a lower resolution (18 million control volumes) and a higher resolution (148 million control volumes) LBM simulation were compared to those from traditional Reynolds averaged Navier-Stokes (RANS) computational methods [2, 3] and to experimental results [12, 11]. For the mean statistics, the LBM calculations yield better results than do the RANS methods; the LBM reproduces significant detail of experimentally observed flow features. Because of the three-dimensional and (probable) unsteady nature of the flow, sagittal plane and time-steady measurements alone are insufficient to verify the accuracy of computational predictions of this flow.

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