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Liquid-Liquid Flow Patterns in Microchannels

[+] Author Affiliations
Zhen Cao, Zan Wu, Bengt Sunden

Lund University, Lund, Sweden

Mehdi Sattari Najafabadi

Isfahan University of Technology, Isfahan, Iran

Paper No. HT2017-4729, pp. V002T10A013; 9 pages
  • ASME 2017 Heat Transfer Summer Conference
  • Volume 2: Heat Transfer Equipment; Heat Transfer in Multiphase Systems; Heat Transfer Under Extreme Conditions; Nanoscale Transport Phenomena; Theory and Fundamental Research in Heat Transfer; Thermophysical Properties; Transport Phenomena in Materials Processing and Manufacturing
  • Bellevue, Washington, USA, July 9–12, 2017
  • Conference Sponsors: Heat Transfer Division
  • ISBN: 978-0-7918-5789-2
  • Copyright © 2017 by ASME


In the present work, liquid-liquid flow patterns positioned 40 mm downstream the inlet of microchannels were experimentally investigated, including the effect of hydraulic diameter (Dh), liquid properties, aspect ratio of cross section (a) and inlet configuration. Deionized water, butanol, toluene and hexane were selected as probe fluids with water as the continuous phase. Cross-inlet microchannels of 200 μm * 200 μm (Dh = 200 μm), 400 μm * 400 μm (Dh = 400 μm), 600 μm * 600 μm (Dh = 600 μm) and 600 μm * 300 μm (Dh = 400 μm) as well as a T-inlet microchannel of 600 μm * 300 μm (Dh = 400 μm) were tested. For the tests in the microchannels of Dh = 600 μm and 400 μm, the superficial velocities of the dispersed phase and continuous phase varied between 0.3 mm/s and 12 mm/s and between 0.2 mm/s and 50 mm/s, while in the microchannel of Dh = 200 μm the superficial velocities of the dispersed phase and continuous phase ranged from 0.3 mm/s to 21 mm/s and from 0.2 mm/s to 150 mm/s. Annular flow, deformed interface flow, slug flow, intermittent flow, droplet and slug train flow and droplet flow were detected in the experiment. It shows that flow patterns depend on the hydraulic diameter, liquid properties, inlet configuration and aspect ratio significantly. Dimensionless analysis was employed to develop universal flow pattern maps regardless of the hydraulic diameter and liquid properties. It is indicated that an acceptable universal flow pattern map was derived based on the redefined dimensionless number Rei0.2 *Wei0.4, especially for the boundaries of the slug-droplet transitions, which are independent on the hydraulic diameter to some extent. The other dimensionless number Wei*Ohi worked rather effectively to develop a universal flow pattern map independent on liquid properties. The boundaries of the flow pattern transitions in different liquid-liquid flow almost overlap with each other.

Copyright © 2017 by ASME



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