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Two-Phase Flow With Surfactants in a Microchannel

[+] Author Affiliations
Dong Liu, Aritra Sur

University of Houston, Houston, TX

Paper No. HT2009-88446, pp. 399-407; 9 pages
  • ASME 2009 Heat Transfer Summer Conference collocated with the InterPACK09 and 3rd Energy Sustainability Conferences
  • Volume 3: Combustion, Fire and Reacting Flow; Heat Transfer in Multiphase Systems; Heat Transfer in Transport Phenomena in Manufacturing and Materials Processing; Heat and Mass Transfer in Biotechnology; Low Temperature Heat Transfer; Environmental Heat Transfer; Heat Transfer Education; Visualization of Heat Transfer
  • San Francisco, California, USA, July 19–23, 2009
  • Conference Sponsors: Heat Transfer Division
  • ISBN: 978-0-7918-4358-1 | eISBN: 978-0-7918-3851-8
  • Copyright © 2009 by ASME


Addition of surfactants to liquids helps to eliminate intermittent two-phase flow patterns and alleviate flow instability. These features are very desirable for two-phase microfluidic applications. However, very little information is available on two-phase flow patterns of surfactant solution in the microchannels. The present paper reports a study of adiabatic two-phase flow with surfactants in a circular microchannel of a 180-μm diameter. Air-water mixtures with trace quantities of sodium dodecyl sulfate (SDS) were used in the experiments. The maximum superficial velocities measured were 4 m/s for the liquid and 65 m/s for the gas. High-speed photographic technique was employed to visualize various two-phase flow patterns and to identify the transition boundaries between different flow regimes. The results were compared to data obtained from air-water flow without surfactants. It was found that addition of surfactants brings in significant modification to the two-phase flow regimes as well as their transition characteristics in microchannels; in particular, slug flow is effectively suppressed.

Copyright © 2009 by ASME



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