Paper "On the Svelteness as an Engineering Tool in Constructal Design: A Critical Review"

01 march, 2023≈ 3 min read

"On the Svelteness as an Engineering Tool in Constructal Design: A Critical Review"

A paper published by Researchers Miguel Clemente and Miguel Panão in Applied Sciences.


The application of Constructal theory to the flow design in engineering applications connects the channels’ architecture with their freedom to morph. Assessing the evolution of the flow architecture in Constructal Design requires a core parameter. Svelteness is the best candidate, given its definition as a flow architecture’s intrinsic global geometric property. However, despite the broad applicability range of Constructal theory, research has restricted the use of Svelteness to fluid flow, focusing on using it to justify disregarding local pressure losses compared to distributed friction losses, connecting the design of the flow to its survival. This work reviews the application of Svelteness, from the intuitive perception of its meaning to its use in engineering design, namely understanding the difference between assuming the impact of Svelteness versus considering the effects of its evolution in time. This understanding allows exploring the depth and validity of applying Svelteness as a universal criterion, comparing the different methods that define it, and discussing its relevance to explaining freedom to morph in a flow. Using two types of configurations (serpentine and canopy-to-canopy), the review shows the relevance of using the configuration area for the external length scale in the presence of ramifications and a relation between the configuration area and the path followed by what flows in the absence of configurations. Finally, we discuss the establishment of Svelteness as an engineering design tool using the law of diminishing returns.


Constructal Design; Svelteness; serpentine configuration; canopy-to-canopy configuration