In a 3:1 scaled model of the human aorta models of the Omniscience, Bjo¨rk-Shiley Convexo-Concave, Bjo¨rk-Shiley Monostrut, Medtronic-Hall, Duromedics (Hemex) and the Saint Jude Medical heart valve prostheses are studied in steady flow representing the systolic peak flow phase. Detailed flow visualization experiments show flow separations at all inner ring surfaces as well as at most of the occluders. The resulting stagnation areas increase the risk of thrombus accumulation. Flow separations also stimulate vortex formation and turbulent mixing at the downstream jet boundaries and thus may intensify blood damage by turbulent shear stresses. The different influences of struts and occluder guides on the flow around the occluders are discussed. The effects of the individual valve components on the flow fields are analyzed and correlated with the resulting pressure losses.

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