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Experimental Analysis of Poiseuille Number in Square Microchannels

[+] Author Affiliations
T. J. John, B. Mathew, H. Hegab

Louisiana Tech University, Ruston, LA

Paper No. IMECE2009-11810, pp. 315-321; 7 pages
  • ASME 2009 International Mechanical Engineering Congress and Exposition
  • Volume 9: Heat Transfer, Fluid Flows, and Thermal Systems, Parts A, B and C
  • Lake Buena Vista, Florida, USA, November 13–19, 2009
  • Conference Sponsors: ASME
  • ISBN: 978-0-7918-4382-6 | eISBN: 978-0-7918-3863-1
  • Copyright © 2009 by ASME


The applications involving fluid flow through microchannels in industry and research have increased significantly with the evolution of microfluidic devices such as lab-on-chip systems. Most of the previous studies concerning fluid flow were done using circular microchannels. However, there is an increased usage of noncircular microchannels, especially square microchannels, in microfluidic devices. Thus there is need for experimental studies on the behavior of fluid flow in square microchannels, and the comparison of the results with the results obtained from the conventional fluid flow equations is relevant. In this study the authors are focusing on the analysis of the friction factor associated with square microchannels of rounded edges under laminar flow conditions. Microchannels with hydraulic diameters of 200, 300, 400 and 500 micrometers and length of 10 cm and 5 cm are used in the analysis. DI-water and ethylene glycol at room temperature is used as the liquid for experiments. A constant liquid flow rate is achieved in the channels using a syringe pump that can pump from 50 μl/hr to 7,500 ml/hr using a 60 ml syringe, and a high precision pressure gauge is used to measure the pressure drop across the channel. The Reynolds number of the liquid flow in all the channels is kept constant between 20 and 120 by varying the flow rate. The friction factor at each Reynolds number is calculated and the results are compared with the friction factor of conventional channels. Experiments are conducted to measure the pressure drop across the channels. The pressure drop obtained across the 5 cm channel is subtracted from the pressure drop obtained across the 10 cm channel so that the effect of entrance effect can be eliminated from the results. The fiction factor obtained from the experiments is used to calculate the Poiseuille number. The experimental values of Poiseuille number are showing a median deviation of around 9% from the conventional values for all the different channels. The uncertainty is observed to be ca.9% for all the channels at all values of Reynolds numbers. The major factor contributing towards the total uncertainty is the uncertainty in the measurement of liquid flow rate.

Copyright © 2009 by ASME



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