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Research Papers

Numerical Prediction of Heat Transfer Patterns in a Subject-Specific Human Upper Airway

[+] Author and Article Information
Prihambodo H. Saksono, Igor Sazonov

School of Engineering,  Swansea University, Singleton Park, Swansea SA2 8PP, UKp.h.saksono@swansea.ac.uk

Perumal Nithiarasu1

School of Engineering,  Swansea University, Singleton Park, Swansea SA2 8PP, UKp.h.saksono@swansea.ac.uk

1

Corresponding author.

J. Heat Transfer 134(3), 031022 (Jan 20, 2012) (9 pages) doi:10.1115/1.4005158 History: Received October 15, 2010; Revised February 27, 2011; Published January 20, 2012; Online January 20, 2012

In this paper, the flow and heat transfer patterns in a subject-specific geometry of the human upper airway is numerically studied. The study was conducted for steady, inspiratory flow associated with quiet normal breathing with a tidal volume of VT  = 0.5 L/min and flow rate of Q = 250 cm3 /s. The numerical results confirmed in vivo measurement that the majority of heat transfer process takes place inside the nasal cavity. It is apparent that even for extreme cases (T∞  = −30 °C and Twall  = 37 °C), the inspired air approached the body temperature by the time it passes the distal nasopharyngeal region. The air temperature reached the body temperature by the time it is in the vicinity of the larynx.

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Copyright © 2012 by American Society of Mechanical Engineers
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Figures

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Figure 1

Airflow through a human upper airway. Surface mesh after the coarsening and smoothing (a) nasal cavity part and (b) thoracic part.

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Figure 2

Streamlines of the flow the color indicates the magnitude of the velocity: (a) left cavity and (b) right cavity

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Figure 3

Location of the visualization planes: (a) coronal direction and (b) transversal direction

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Figure 4

Distribution of temperature for T∞=-30°C: (a) coronal planes and (b) transversal planes

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Figure 5

Distribution of temperature for T∞=45°C: (a) coronal planes and (b) transversal planes

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Figure 6

Temperature distribution for T∞=45°C: (a) coronal planes and (b) transversal planes

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Figure 7

Nusselt number distribution: (a) low ambient temperature (T∞  = −30 °C) and (b) high ambient temperature (T∞  = 45 °C)

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