A survey of secondary flows of viscoelastic liquids in straight tubes is given including recent work pointing at striking analogies with transversal deformations associated with the simple shearing of solid materials. The importance and implications of secondary flows of viscoelastic fluids in heat transfer enhancement are explored together with the difficulties in detecting weak secondary flows (dilute, weakly viscoelastic solutions) in a laboratory setting. Recent new work by the author and colleagues which explores for the first time the structure of the secondary flow field in the pulsating flow of a constitutively nonlinear simple fluid, whose structure is defined by a series of nested integrals over semi-infinite time domains, in straight tubes of arbitrary cross-sections is summarized. The transversal field arises at the second order of the perturbation of the nonlinear constitutive structure, and is driven by first order terms which define the linearly viscoelastic longitudinal flow in the hierarchy of superposed linear flows stemming from the perturbation of the constitutive structure. Arbitrary conduit contours are obtained through a novel approach to the concept of domain perturbation. Time averaged, mean secondary flow streamline contours are presented for the first time for triangular, square and hexagonal pipes.

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