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Proceedings Paper

Simulation of interfacial dynamics of time-dependent converging flows in microchannels
Author(s): R. D. Prabhu; Darren L. Hitt
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Paper Abstract

With the growing interest and development of microfluidic systems, the need for micro-scale laminar flow mixing techniques is evident. Traditional mixing methods often rely upon turbulent flow for mixing which is generally not present on the micro-scale and so alternative approaches must be sought. In this work we investigate the potential for destabilizing the interface between converging flows using flow pulsation. A 3-D computational model of the converging flow at a 90 degrees junction is developed using the Fluent CFD software whereby the time-dependent behavior of the interface can be studied downstream of the junction. The interface is tracked using the Volume-of-Fluid method. Our results show the formation of a complex, evolving interfacial distortion which propagates and persists downstream of the junction; the degree of distortion observed suggests the possible onset of a hydrodynamic instability. The results also show that the complexity of the interfacial structure is only significant at higher frequencies (order of kHz) which is appropriate for MEMS pumping devices.

Paper Details

Date Published: 28 September 2001
PDF: 9 pages
Proc. SPIE 4560, Microfluidics and BioMEMS, (28 September 2001); doi: 10.1117/12.443048
Show Author Affiliations
R. D. Prabhu, Univ. of Vermont (United States)
Darren L. Hitt, Univ. of Vermont (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 4560:
Microfluidics and BioMEMS
Carlos H. Mastrangelo; Holger Becker, Editor(s)

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