Term of Award

Summer 2017

Degree Name

Master of Science in Applied Engineering (M.S.A.E.)

Document Type and Release Option

Thesis (restricted to Georgia Southern)

Copyright Statement / License for Reuse

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.


Department of Mechanical Engineering

Committee Chair

David Calamas

Committee Member 1

Aniruddha Mitra

Committee Member 2

Mosfequr Rahman


Nature is an excellent source for solving engineering problems. Numerous engineering designs have mimicked biological designs. The focus of the present research is to explore the benefits of biologically-inspired flow networks. Previous use of hierarchical bifurcating flow passages for heat exchanger applications has been limited to microscale flow networks. The main objective is to determine the flow and thermal characteristics of a fractal-like network that has been scaled up. A three-dimensional computational fluid dynamics model was created to study the flow behavior and heat transfer through a mesoscale fractal-like branching flow network and compared to that of a microscale model. The mesoscale flow network examined in the present analysis resulted in pressure and wall temperature distributions similar to the microscale network. Under the conditions studied, the mesoscale flow network displayed a total pressure drop two orders of magnitude smaller and a bulk fluid temperature increase an order of magnitude larger than the microscale flow network under the conditions studied. Reverse flow through the microscale branching flow network was also analyzed and discussed in the present study. The information obtained in this research can be used to explore the applications of mesoscale and microscale biologically-inspired flow networks.

Research Data and Supplementary Material