The governing equations of steady flow of an incompressible viscous fluid through a 3-D model of the aortic bifurcation are solved with the finite element method. The effect of Reynolds number on the flow was studied for a range including the physiological values (200≤Re≤1600). The symmetrical bifurcation, with a branch angle of 70 degrees and an area ratio of 0.8, includes a tapered transition zone. Secondary flows induced by the tube curvature are observed in the daughter tubes. Transverse currents in the transition zone are generated by the combined effect of diverging and converging walls. Flow separation depends on both the Reynolds number and the inlet wall shear.

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