An experimental study is made of flow through models simulating the human abdominal aorta and human coronary arteries. Compliant silicone models are used to investigate fluid-wall interactions of geometries simulating arteries in healthy and diseased states, with the difference between the two being a localized wall thickening on the diseased model to simulate plaque deposition. Physiological flow waveforms and constant pressure external to the model wall are used as input conditions. Using flow visualization and particle image velocimetry, flow stability and transitional behaviors are studied and compared with velocity profiles for resting and exercise states deduced from clinical flow rate data. In these Reynolds and Sexl-Womersley matched experiments, the flow phantom representing the diseased slate demonstrates recirculation zones both upstream and downstream of the stenosis, while the healthy artery demonstrates a more unidirectional flow pattern. The contrast between the high-Reynolds, high-Sexl-Womersley number flow regime of the abdominal aorta and the lower-Reynolds, lower-Sexl-Womersley number behavior of the coronary arteries illustrates the importance of transitional behaviors in the human body and specifically in the progression of atherosclerosis.

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