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Effect of Viscosity and Reynolds Number for Flow in Converging Microchannels

[+] Author Affiliations
Nelson Macken, Christopher Boutelle, Logan Osgood-Jacobs

Swarthmore College, Swarthmore, PA

Paper No. IMECE2011-62315, pp. 1013-1017; 5 pages
  • ASME 2011 International Mechanical Engineering Congress and Exposition
  • Volume 6: Fluids and Thermal Systems; Advances for Process Industries, Parts A and B
  • Denver, Colorado, USA, November 11–17, 2011
  • Conference Sponsors: ASME
  • ISBN: 978-0-7918-5492-1
  • Copyright © 2011 by ASME


The interface between intersecting microfluidic flows is investigated experimentally. Two microchannel configurations are studied. Each configuration has a main channel and an intersecting daughter channel. The channel cross sections are equal and square with the intersection either at 90 or 45 degrees. Flow visualization is achieved using confocal fluorescence microscopy. The flow interface is examined for equal and unequal viscosities and a range of Reynolds numbers. Viscosity differences and Reynolds numbers influence the three-dimensional nature of the interface. As the Reynolds number increases, the increased flow inertia produces curvature in the interface surface perpendicular to the flow. Curvature is also evident in flows with unequal viscosities. The interface location at fixed flow ratios is independent of the Reynolds number, but varies significantly with unequal viscosity ratios. Viscosity and Reynolds number effects are similar in both the 45 and 90 degree configurations.

Copyright © 2011 by ASME



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