Sudden Expansion in Laminar Pipe Flow Using Ansys Workbench

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In a flow network, the flowing fluid encounters devices and attachments such as valves and bends.  In addition to this, the fluids also may experience sudden expansions or contractions during the flow. Due to these inevitable pipe fittings and designs, the fluid experiences a loss of energy. In many industries, such as power generation, these losses compound and could become significant. An engineer designing these flow networks attempts to reduce these losses as best as possible to achieve better efficiency. Therefore, it becomes important to study the flow through pipes and predict these losses a priori to design and size the required pumping system. This can be done with the help of engineering simulations, particularly computational fluid dynamics.

In this course, we consider steady laminar flow through a pipe with sudden expansion to understand the energy loss due to the expansion. This SimCafe course was developed by Dr. Rajesh Bhaskaran, Swanson Director of Engineering Simulation at Cornell University, and Sebastien Lachance-Barrett in partnership with Ansys. It serves as an e-learning resource to integrate industry-standard simulation tools into courses and provides a resource for supplementary learning outside the classroom. In this course, we will learn to model the laminar fluid flow through a pipe undergoing sudden expansion by following the end-to-end workflow in Ansys Workbench.

For more ways to learn, check out the Cornell edX course, A Hands-on Introduction to Engineering Simulations at

Cornell University also offers a Fluid Dynamics Simulations Using Ansys online certificate authored by Dr. Rajesh Bhaskaran. Learn more here:

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