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Review of Experimental Procedure for Determining Liquid Flow in Microchannels

[+] Author Affiliations
A. D. Ferguson, M. Bahrami, J. R. Culham

University of Waterloo, Waterloo, ON, Canada

Paper No. ICMM2005-75126, pp. 303-311; 9 pages
  • ASME 3rd International Conference on Microchannels and Minichannels
  • ASME 3rd International Conference on Microchannels and Minichannels, Parts A and B
  • Toronto, Ontario, Canada, June 13–15, 2005
  • Conference Sponsors: Nanotechnology Institute
  • ISBN: 0-7918-4185-5 | eISBN: 0-7918-3758-0
  • Copyright © 2005 by ASME


Large scatter in published experimental data has been observed with respect to classical theory. Recent data have confirmed that liquid, fully-developed, laminar flow in smooth microchannels of various cross-section is governed by the Navier-Stokes equations. However, when the dimensions of the channels are comparable with the wall roughness, surface effects become significant, as shown experimentally. To better assess the effect of surface phenomena such as wall roughness, sources of systematic bias must be eliminated. Some of the observed inconsistencies in data could originate from the experimental method. This paper explores and categorizes different approaches found in literature for measuring microflow characteristics and highlights the advantages and disadvantages inherent to these experimental techniques. A discussion of system components, experimental measurement and error analyses is included in the paper, with an emphasis on important issues which may have been overlooked in previous research. This study serves as a summary of experimental procedure and is a useful guideline for research in microfluidics. Moreover, several recommendations are proposed for improvement in areas requiring further study.

Copyright © 2005 by ASME



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