Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 35

Search results for: microchannels

35 Numerical Study of Fluid Flow and Heat Transfer in Microchannel with Thin Obstacles

Authors: Malorzata Kmiotek, Anna Kucaba-Pietal, Robert Smusz


Due to the miniaturisation process, in many technical devices, microchannels are used in cooling systems. Because of the small size of microchannels, the flow inside is laminar, which caused a slow heat exchange. In order to intensify the heat exchange, the flow must be disturbed, for example, by introducing obstacles. We present results on the influence of a thin obstacle, placed on microchannel wall, on the fluid and heat flow in the aspect of their use by constructors of heat exchangers. The obstacle is called 'thin' when its geometrical parameter (o=w/h, w- width, h - height of the obstacle) satisfies inequality: o < 0.5. In this work, we report numerical results on heat and mass transfer in the microchannels of 400 micrometer height (H - height of the microchannel), where thin obstacles are immersed on the walls, to disturb the flow. The Reynolds number of the flow in microchannel varies between 20 and 200 and is typical for the flow in micro heat exchangers. The equations describing the fluid and heat flows in microchannels were solved numerically by using the finite element method with an application of CFD&FSI package of ADINA R&D, Inc. 9.4 solver. In the case of flows in the microchannels with sequences of thin rectangular obstacles placed on the bottom and the top wall of a microchannel, the influence of distances s (s is the distance between two thin obstacles) and heights of obstacles on the fluid and heat transfer was investigated. Thermal and flow conditions of the application area of microchannels in electronic cooling systems, i.e., wall temperature of 60 °C, the fluid temperature of 20°C were used to solve equations. Additionally, the distance s between the thin obstacles in microchannels as a multiple of the amount of the channel height was determined. Results show that placing thin obstacles on microchannel walls increase the length of recirculation zones of the flow and improves the heat transfer.

Keywords: Finite Element Method, heat transfer, mechanical engineering, microchannel

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34 Single Phase Fluid Flow in Series of Microchannel Connected via Converging-Diverging Section with or without Throat

Authors: Abhishek Kumar Chandra, Kaushal Kishor, Wasim Khan, Dhananjay Singh, M. S. Alam


Single phase fluid flow through series of uniform microchannels connected via transition section (converging-diverging section with or without throat) was analytically and numerically studied to characterize the flow within the channel and in the transition sections. Three sets of microchannels of diameters 100, 184, and 249 μm were considered for investigation. Each set contains 10 numbers of microchannels of length 20 mm, connected to each other in series via transition sections. Transition section consists of either converging-diverging section with throat or without throat. The effect of non-uniformity in microchannels on pressure drop was determined by passing water/air through the set of channels for Reynolds number 50 to 1000. Compressibility and rarefaction effects in transition sections were also tested analytically and numerically for air flow. The analytical and numerical results show that these configurations can be used in enhancement of transport processes. However, converging-diverging section without throat shows superior performance over with throat configuration.

Keywords: contraction-expansion flow, integrated microchannel, microchannel network, single phase flow

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33 Numerical Analysis of Roughness Effect on Mini and Microchannels: Hydrodynamics and Heat Transfer

Authors: El-Ghalia Filali, Cherif Gadouche, Mohamed Tahar


A three-dimensional numerical simulation of flow through mini and microchannels with designed roughness is conducted here. The effect of the roughness height (surface roughness), geometry, Reynolds number on the friction factor and the Nusselt number is investigated. The study is carried out by employing CFD software, CFX. Our work focuses on a water flow inside a circular mini-channel of 1 mm and microchannels of 500 and 100 μm in diameter. The speed entry varies from 0.1 m/s to 20 m/s. The general trend can be observed that bigger sizes of roughness element lead to higher flow resistance. It is found that the friction factor increases in a nonlinear fashion with the increase in obstruction height. Particularly, the effect of roughness can no longer be ignored at relative roughness height higher than 3%. A significant increase in Poiseuille number is detected for all configurations considered. The same observation can be done for Nusselt number. The transition zone between laminar and turbulent flow depends on the channel diameter.

Keywords: hydrodynamics, heat transfer, minichannel, microchannel, roughness

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32 Demarcating Wetting States in Pressure-Driven Flows by Poiseuille Number

Authors: Anvesh Gaddam, Amit Agrawal, Suhas Joshi, Mark Thompson


An increase in surface area to volume ratio with a decrease in characteristic length scale, leads to a rapid increase in pressure drop across the microchannel. Texturing the microchannel surfaces reduce the effective surface area, thereby decreasing the pressured drop. Surface texturing introduces two wetting states: a metastable Cassie-Baxter state and stable Wenzel state. Predicting wetting transition in textured microchannels is essential for identifying optimal parameters leading to maximum drag reduction. Optical methods allow visualization only in confined areas, therefore, obtaining whole-field information on wetting transition is challenging. In this work, we propose a non-invasive method to capture wetting transitions in textured microchannels under flow conditions. To this end, we tracked the behavior of the Poiseuille number Po = f.Re, (with f the friction factor and Re the Reynolds number), for a range of flow rates (5 < Re < 50), and different wetting states were qualitatively demarcated by observing the inflection points in the f.Re curve. Microchannels with both longitudinal and transverse ribs with a fixed gas fraction (δ, a ratio of shear-free area to total area) and at a different confinement ratios (ε, a ratio of rib height to channel height) were fabricated. The measured pressure drop values for all the flow rates across the textured microchannels were converted into Poiseuille number. Transient behavior of the pressure drop across the textured microchannels revealed the collapse of liquid-gas interface into the gas cavities. Three wetting states were observed at ε = 0.65 for both longitudinal and transverse ribs, whereas, an early transition occurred at Re ~ 35 for longitudinal ribs at ε = 0.5, due to spontaneous flooding of the gas cavities as the liquid-gas interface ruptured at the inlet. In addition, the pressure drop in the Wenzel state was found to be less than the Cassie-Baxter state. Three-dimensional numerical simulations confirmed the initiation of the completely wetted Wenzel state in the textured microchannels. Furthermore, laser confocal microscopy was employed to identify the location of the liquid-gas interface in the Cassie-Baxter state. In conclusion, the present method can overcome the limitations posed by existing techniques, to conveniently capture wetting transition in textured microchannels.

Keywords: drag reduction, Poiseuille number, textured surfaces, wetting transition

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31 Optimization of Wire EDM Parameters for Fabrication of Micro Channels

Authors: Gurinder Singh Brar, Sarbjeet Singh, Harry Garg


Wire Electric Discharge Machining (WEDM) is thermal machining process capable of machining very hard electrically conductive material irrespective of their hardness. WEDM is being widely used to machine micro-scale parts with the high dimensional accuracy and surface finish. The objective of this paper is to optimize the process parameters of wire EDM to fabricate the microchannels and to calculate the surface finish and material removal rate of microchannels fabricated using wire EDM. The material used is aluminum 6061 alloy. The experiments were performed using CNC wire cut electric discharge machine. The effect of various parameters of WEDM like pulse on time (TON) with the levels (100, 150, 200), pulse off time (TOFF) with the levels (25, 35, 45) and current (IP) with the levels (105, 110, 115) were investigated to study the effect on output parameter i.e. Surface Roughness and Material Removal Rate (MRR). Each experiment was conducted under different conditions of a pulse on time, pulse off time and peak current. For material removal rate, TON and Ip were the most significant process parameter. MRR increases with the increase in TON and Ip and decreases with the increase in TOFF. For surface roughness, TON and Ip have the maximum effect and TOFF was found out to be less effective.

Keywords: microchannels, Wire Electric Discharge Machining (WEDM), Metal Removal Rate (MRR), surface finish

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30 Hybrid Polymer Microfluidic Platform for Studying Endothelial Cell Response to Micro Mechanical Environment

Authors: Mitesh Rathod, Jungho Ahn, Noo Li Jeon, Junghoon Lee


Endothelial cells respond to cues from both biochemical as well as micro mechanical environment. Significant effort has been directed to understand the effects of biochemical signaling, however, relatively little is known about regulation of endothelial cell biology by the micro mechanical environment. Numerous studies have been performed to understand how physical forces regulate endothelial cell behavior. In this regard, past studies have majorly focused on exploring how fluid shear stress governs endothelial cell behavior. Parallel plate flow chambers and rectangular microchannels are routinely employed for applying fluid shear force on endothelial cells. However, these studies fall short in mimicking the in vivo like micro environment from topological aspects. Few studies have only used circular microchannels to replicate in vivo like condition. Seldom efforts have been directed to elucidate the combined effect of topology, substrate rigidity and fluid shear stress on endothelial cell response. In this regard, we demonstrate a facile fabrication process to develop a hybrid polydimethylsiloxane microfluidic platform to study endothelial cell biology. On a single chip microchannels with different cross sections i.e., circular, rectangular and square have been fabricated. In addition, our fabrication approach allows variation in the substrate rigidity along the channel length. Two different variants of polydimethylsiloxane, namely Sylgard 184 and Sylgard 527, were utilized to achieve the variation in rigidity. Moreover, our approach also enables in creating Y bifurcation circular microchannels. Our microfluidic platform thus facilitates for conducting studies pertaining to endothelial cell morphology with respect to change in topology, substrate rigidity and fluid flow on a single chip. The hybrid platform was tested by culturing Human Umbilical Vein Endothelial Cells in circular microchannels with varying substrate rigidity, and exposed to fluid shear stress of 12 dynes/cm² and static conditions. Results indicate the cell area response to flow induced shear stress was governed by the underlying substrate mechanics.

Keywords: hybrid, microfluidic platform, PDMS, shear flow, substrate rigidity

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29 Investigation of Heat Transfer of Nanofluids in Circular Microchannels

Authors: Bayram Sahin, Hourieh Bayramian, Emre Mandev, Murat Ceylan


In industrial applications, the demand for the enhancement of heat transfer is a common engineering problem. The use of additives to heat transfer fluid is a technique applied to enhance the heat transfer performance of base fluids. In this study, the thermal performance of nanofluids consisting of SiO2 particles and deionized water in circular microchannels was investigated experimentally. SiO2 nanoparticles with diameter of 15 nm were added to water to prepare nanofluids with 0.2% and 0.4% volume fractions. Heat transfer characteristics were calculated by using temperature, flow and pressure measurements. The thermal conductivity and viscosity values required for the calculations are measured separately. It is observed that the Nusselt number increases at the all volume fraction of particles, by increasing the Reynolds number and the volumetric ratios of the particles. The highest heat transfer enhancement is obtained at Re = 2160 and 0.4 % vol. by 14% under the condition of a constant pumping power.

Keywords: nanofluid, microchannel, heat transfer, SiO2-water nanofluid

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28 Increase of Sensitivity in 3D Suspended Polymeric Microfluidic Platform through Lateral Misalignment

Authors: Ehsan Yazdanpanah Moghadam, Muthukumaran Packirisamy


In the present study, a design of the suspended polymeric microfluidic platform is introduced that is fabricated with three polymeric layers. Changing the microchannel plane to be perpendicular to microcantilever plane, drastically decreases moment of inertia in that direction. In addition, the platform is made of polymer (around five orders of magnitude less compared to silicon). It causes significant increase in the sensitivity of the cantilever deflection. Next, although the dimensions of this platform are constant, by misaligning the embedded microchannels laterally in the suspended microfluidic platform, the sensitivity can be highly increased. The investigation is studied on four fluids including water, seawater, milk, and blood for flow ranges from low rate of 5 to 70 µl/min to obtain the best design with the highest sensitivity. The best design in this study shows the sensitivity increases around 50% for water, seawater, milk, and blood at the flow rate of 70 µl/min by just misaligning the embedded microchannels in the suspended polymeric microfluidic platform.

Keywords: microfluidic, MEMS, biosensor, microresonator

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27 Inertial Particle Focusing Dynamics in Trapezoid Straight Microchannels: Application to Continuous Particle Filtration

Authors: Reza Moloudi, Steve Oh, Charles Chun Yang, Majid Ebrahimi Warkiani, May Win Naing


Inertial microfluidics has emerged recently as a promising tool for high-throughput manipulation of particles and cells for a wide range of flow cytometric tasks including cell separation/filtration, cell counting, and mechanical phenotyping. Inertial focusing is profoundly reliant on the cross-sectional shape of the channel and its impacts not only on the shear field but also the wall-effect lift force near the wall region. Despite comprehensive experiments and numerical analysis of the lift forces for rectangular and non-rectangular microchannels (half-circular and triangular cross-section), which all possess planes of symmetry, less effort has been made on the 'flow field structure' of trapezoidal straight microchannels and its effects on inertial focusing. On the other hand, a rectilinear channel with trapezoidal cross-sections breaks down all planes of symmetry. In this study, particle focusing dynamics inside trapezoid straight microchannels was first studied systematically for a broad range of channel Re number (20 < Re < 800). The altered axial velocity profile and consequently new shear force arrangement led to a cross-laterally movement of equilibration toward the longer side wall when the rectangular straight channel was changed to a trapezoid; however, the main lateral focusing started to move backward toward the middle and the shorter side wall, depending on particle clogging ratio (K=a/Hmin, a is particle size), channel aspect ratio (AR=W/Hmin, W is channel width, and Hmin is smaller channel height), and slope of slanted wall, as the channel Reynolds number further increased (Re > 50). Increasing the channel aspect ratio (AR) from 2 to 4 and the slope of slanted wall up to Tan(α)≈0.4 (Tan(α)=(Hlonger-sidewall-Hshorter-sidewall)/W) enhanced the off-center lateral focusing position from the middle of channel cross-section, up to ~20 percent of the channel width. It was found that the focusing point was spoiled near the slanted wall due to the dissymmetry; it mainly focused near the bottom wall or fluctuated between the channel center and the bottom wall, depending on the slanted wall and Re (Re < 100, channel aspect ratio 4:1). Eventually, as a proof of principle, a trapezoidal straight microchannel along with a bifurcation was designed and utilized for continuous filtration of a broader range of particle clogging ratio (0.3 < K < 1) exiting through the longer wall outlet with ~99% efficiency (Re < 100) in comparison to the rectangular straight microchannels (W > H, 0.3 ≤ K < 0.5).

Keywords: cell/particle sorting, filtration, inertial microfluidics, straight microchannel, trapezoid

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26 Air–Water Two-Phase Flow Patterns in PEMFC Microchannels

Authors: Ibrahim Rassoul, A. Serir, E-K. Si Ahmed, J. Legrand


The acronym PEM refers to Proton Exchange Membrane or alternatively Polymer Electrolyte Membrane. Due to its high efficiency, low operating temperature (30–80 °C), and rapid evolution over the past decade, PEMFCs are increasingly emerging as a viable alternative clean power source for automobile and stationary applications. Before PEMFCs can be employed to power automobiles and homes, several key technical challenges must be properly addressed. One technical challenge is elucidating the mechanisms underlying water transport in and removal from PEMFCs. On one hand, sufficient water is needed in the polymer electrolyte membrane or PEM to maintain sufficiently high proton conductivity. On the other hand, too much liquid water present in the cathode can cause “flooding” (that is, pore space is filled with excessive liquid water) and hinder the transport of the oxygen reactant from the gas flow channel (GFC) to the three-phase reaction sites. The experimental transparent fuel cell used in this work was designed to represent actual full scale of fuel cell geometry. According to the operating conditions, a number of flow regimes may appear in the microchannel: droplet flow, blockage water liquid bridge /plug (concave and convex forms), slug/plug flow and film flow. Some of flow patterns are new, while others have been already observed in PEMFC microchannels. An algorithm in MATLAB was developed to automatically determine the flow structure (e.g. slug, droplet, plug, and film) of detected liquid water in the test microchannels and yield information pertaining to the distribution of water among the different flow structures. A video processing algorithm was developed to automatically detect dynamic and static liquid water present in the gas channels and generate relevant quantitative information. The potential benefit of this software allows the user to obtain a more precise and systematic way to obtain measurements from images of small objects. The void fractions are also determined based on images analysis. The aim of this work is to provide a comprehensive characterization of two-phase flow in an operating fuel cell which can be used towards the optimization of water management and informs design guidelines for gas delivery microchannels for fuel cells and its essential in the design and control of diverse applications. The approach will combine numerical modeling with experimental visualization and measurements.

Keywords: polymer electrolyte fuel cell, air-water two phase flow, gas diffusion layer, microchannels, advancing contact angle, receding contact angle, void fraction, surface tension, image processing

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25 3D Hybrid Multiphysics Lattice Boltzmann Model for Studying the Flow Behavior of Emulsions in Structured Rectangular Microchannels

Authors: Luma Al-Tamimi, Hassan Farhat, Wessam Hasan


A three-dimensional (3D) hybrid quasi-steady thermal lattice Boltzmann model is developed to couple the effects of surfactant, temperature, interfacial tension, and contact angle. This 3D model is an extended scheme of a previously introduced two-dimensional (2D) hybrid lattice Boltzmann model. The 3D model is used to study the combined multi-physics effects on emulsion systems flowing in rectangular microchannels with and without confinements, where the suspended phase is made of droplets, plugs, or a mixture of both. The simulation results show that emulsion systems with plugs as the suspended phase are more efficient than with droplets, whereas mixed systems that form large plugs through coalescence have even greater efficiency. The 3D contact angle model generates matching results to those of the 2D model, which were validated with experiments. Furthermore, the effects of various confinements on adhering single drop systems are investigated for delineating their influence on the power required for transporting the suspended phase through the channel. It is shown that the deeper the constriction is, the lower the system efficiency. Increasing the surfactant concentration or fluid temperature in a channel with confinement carries a substantial positive effect on oil droplet transportation.

Keywords: lattice Boltzmann method, thermal, contact angle, surfactants, high viscosity ratio, porous media

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24 The Coalescence Process of Droplet Pairs in Different Junctions

Authors: Xiang Wang, Yan Pang, Zhaomiao Liu


Droplet-based microfluidics have been studied extensively with the development of the Micro-Electro-Mechanical System (MEMS) which bears the advantages of high throughput, high efficiency, low cost and low polydispersity. Droplets, worked as versatile carriers, could provide isolated chambers as the internal dispersed phase is protected from the outside continuous phase. Droplets are used to add reagents to start or end bio-chemical reactions, to generate concentration gradients, to realize hydrate crystallization or protein analyses, while droplets coalescence acts as an important control technology. In this paper, deionized water is used as the dispersed phase, and several kinds of oil are used as the continuous phase to investigate the influence of the viscosity ratio of the two phases on the coalescence process. The microchannels are fabricated by coating a polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) layer onto another PDMS flat plate after corona treatment. All newly made microchannels are rinsed with the continuous oil phase for hours before experiments to ensure the swelling fully developed. High-speed microscope system is used to document the serial videos with a maximum speed of 2000 frames per second. The critical capillary numbers (Ca*) of droplet pairs in various junctions are studied and compared. Ca* varies with different junctions or different liquids within the range of 0.002 to 0.01. However, droplets without extra control would have the problem of synchronism which reduces the coalescence efficiency.

Keywords: coalescence, concentration, critical capillary number, droplet pair, split

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23 Towards the Integration of a Micro Pump in μTAS

Authors: Y. Haik


The objective of this study is to present a micro mechanical pump that was fabricated using SwIFT™ microfabrication surface micromachining process and to demonstrate the feasibility of integrating such micro pump into a micro analysis system. The micropump circulates the bio-sample and magnetic nanoparticles through different compartments to separate and purify the targeted bio-sample. This article reports the flow characteristics in the microchannels and in a crescent micro pump.

Keywords: crescent micropumps, microanalysis, nanoparticles, MEMS

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22 Experimental Research on Neck Thinning Dynamics of Droplets in Cross Junction Microchannels

Authors: Yilin Ma, Zhaomiao Liu, Xiang Wang, Yan Pang


Microscale droplets play an increasingly important role in various applications, including medical diagnostics, material synthesis, chemical engineering, and cell research due to features of high surface-to-volume ratio and tiny scale, which can significantly improve reaction rates, enhance heat transfer efficiency, enable high-throughput parallel studies as well as reduce reagent usage. As a mature technique to manipulate small amounts of liquids, droplet microfluidics could achieve the precise control of droplet parameters such as size, uniformity, structure, and thus has been widely adopted in the engineering and scientific research of multiple fields. Necking processes of the droplet in the cross junction microchannels are experimentally and theoretically investigated and dynamic mechanisms of the neck thinning in two different regimes are revealed. According to evolutions of the minimum neck width and the thinning rate, the necking process is further divided into different stages and the main driving force during each stage is confirmed. Effects of the flow rates and the cross-sectional aspect ratio on the necking process as well as the neck profile at different stages are provided in detail. The distinct features of the two regimes in the squeezing stage are well captured by the theoretical estimations of the effective flow rate and the variations of the actual flow rates in different channels are reasonably reflected by the channel width ratio. In the collapsing stage, the quantitative relation between the minimum neck width and the remaining time is constructed to identify the physical mechanism.

Keywords: cross junction, neck thinning, force analysis, inertial mechanism

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21 Towards a Biologically Relevant Tumor-on-a-Chip: Multiplex Microfluidic Platform to Study Breast Cancer Drug Response

Authors: Soroosh Torabi, Brad Berron, Ren Xu, Christine Trinkle


Microfluidics integrated with 3D cell culture is a powerful technology to mimic cellular environment, and can be used to study cell activities such as proliferation, migration and response to drugs. This technology has gained more attention in cancer studies over the past years, and many organ-on-a-chip systems have been developed to study cancer cell behaviors in an ex-vivo tumor microenvironment. However, there are still some barriers to adoption which include low throughput, complexity in 3D cell culture integration and limitations on non-optical analysis of cells. In this study, a user-friendly microfluidic multi-well plate was developed to mimic the in vivo tumor microenvironment. The microfluidic platform feeds multiple 3D cell culture sites at the same time which enhances the throughput of the system. The platform uses hydrophobic Cassie-Baxter surfaces created by microchannels to enable convenient loading of hydrogel/cell suspensions into the device, while providing barrier free placement of the hydrogel and cells adjacent to the fluidic path. The microchannels support convective flow and diffusion of nutrients to the cells and a removable lid is used to enable further chemical and physiological analysis on the cells. Different breast cancer cell lines were cultured in the device and then monitored to characterize nutrient delivery to the cells as well as cell invasion and proliferation. In addition, the drug response of breast cancer cell lines cultured in the device was compared to the response in xenograft models to the same drugs to analyze relevance of this platform for use in future drug-response studies.

Keywords: microfluidics, multi-well 3d cell culture, tumor microenvironment, tumor-on-a-chip

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20 Preparation and Sealing of Polymer Microchannels Using EB Lithography and Laser Welding

Authors: Ian Jones, Jonathan Griffiths


Laser welding offers the potential for making very precise joints in plastics products, both in terms of the joint location and the amount of heating applied. These methods have allowed the production of complex products such as microfluidic devices where channels and structure resolution below 100 µm is regularly used. However, to date, the dimension of welds made using lasers has been limited by the focus spot size that is achievable from the laser source. Theoretically, the minimum spot size possible from a laser is comparable to the wavelength of the radiation emitted. Practically, with reasonable focal length optics the spot size achievable is a few factors larger than this, and the melt zone in a plastics weld is larger again than this. The narrowest welds feasible to date have therefore been 10-20 µm wide using a near-infrared laser source. The aim of this work was to prepare laser absorber tracks and channels less than 10 µm wide in PMMA thermoplastic using EB lithography followed by sealing of channels using laser welding to carry out welds with widths of the order of 1 µm, below the resolution limit of the near-infrared laser used. Welded joints with a width of 1 µm have been achieved as well as channels with a width of 5 µm. The procedure was based on the principle of transmission laser welding using a thin coating of infrared absorbent material at the joint interface. The coating was patterned using electron-beam lithography to obtain the required resolution in a reproducible manner and that resolution was retained after the transmission laser welding process. The joint strength was ratified using larger scale samples. The results demonstrate that plastics products could be made with a high density of structure with resolution below 1 um, and that welding can be applied without excessively heating regions beyond the weld lines. This may be applied to smaller scale sensor and analysis chips, micro-bio and chemical reactors and to microelectronic packaging.

Keywords: microchannels, polymer, EB lithography, laser welding

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19 The Role and Impact of Cold Spray Technology on Surface Engineering

Authors: Ionel Botef


Studies show that, for viable product realisation and maintenance, a spectrum of novel processing technologies and materials to improve performance and reduce costs and environmental impact must constantly be addressed. One of these technologies, namely the cold spray process, has enabled a broad range of coatings and applications, including many that have not been previously possible or commercially practical, hence its potential for new aerospace, electronics, or medical applications. Therefore, the purpose of this paper is to summarise the state of the art of this technology alongside its theoretical and experimental studies, and explore the role and impact of cold spraying on surface engineering.

Keywords: surface engineering, cold spray, ageing aircrafts, corrosion, microchannels, maintenance

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18 Simulation and Characterization of Stretching and Folding in Microchannel Electrokinetic Flows

Authors: Justo Rodriguez, Daming Chen, Amador M. Guzman


The detection, treatment, and control of rapidly propagating, deadly viruses such as COVID-19, require the development of inexpensive, fast, and accurate devices to address the urgent needs of the population. Microfluidics-based sensors are amongst the different methods and techniques for detection that are easy to use. A micro analyzer is defined as a microfluidics-based sensor, composed of a network of microchannels with varying functions. Given their size, portability, and accuracy, they are proving to be more effective and convenient than other solutions. A micro analyzer based on the concept of “Lab on a Chip” presents advantages concerning other non-micro devices due to its smaller size, and it is having a better ratio between useful area and volume. The integration of multiple processes in a single microdevice reduces both the number of necessary samples and the analysis time, leading the next generation of analyzers for the health-sciences. In some applications, the flow of solution within the microchannels is originated by a pressure gradient, which can produce adverse effects on biological samples. A more efficient and less dangerous way of controlling the flow in a microchannel-based analyzer is applying an electric field to induce the fluid motion and either enhance or suppress the mixing process. Electrokinetic flows are characterized by no less than two non-dimensional parameters: the electric Rayleigh number and its geometrical aspect ratio. In this research, stable and unstable flows have been studied numerically (and when possible, will be experimental) in a T-shaped microchannel. Additionally, unstable electrokinetic flows for Rayleigh numbers higher than critical have been characterized. The flow mixing enhancement was quantified in relation to the stretching and folding that fluid particles undergo when they are subjected to supercritical electrokinetic flows. Computational simulations were carried out using a finite element-based program while working with the flow mixing concepts developed by Gollub and collaborators. Hundreds of seeded massless particles were tracked along the microchannel from the entrance to exit for both stable and unstable flows. After post-processing, their trajectories, the folding and stretching values for the different flows were found. Numerical results show that for supercritical electrokinetic flows, the enhancement effects of the folding and stretching processes become more apparent. Consequently, there is an improvement in the mixing process, ultimately leading to a more homogenous mixture.

Keywords: microchannel, stretching and folding, electro kinetic flow mixing, micro-analyzer

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17 Characterization of the Dispersion Phenomenon in an Optical Biosensor

Authors: An-Shik Yang, Chin-Ting Kuo, Yung-Chun Yang, Wen-Hsin Hsieh, Chiang-Ho Cheng


Optical biosensors have become a powerful detection and analysis tool for wide-ranging applications in biomedical research, pharmaceuticals and environmental monitoring. This study carried out the computational fluid dynamics (CFD)-based simulations to explore the dispersion phenomenon in the microchannel of a optical biosensor. The predicted time sequences of concentration contours were utilized to better understand the dispersion development occurred in different geometric shapes of microchannels. The simulation results showed the surface concentrations at the sensing probe (with the best performance of a grating coupler) in respect of time to appraise the dispersion effect and therefore identify the design configurations resulting in minimum dispersion.

Keywords: CFD simulations, dispersion, microfluidic, optical waveguide sensors

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16 Mathematical Modeling of the Water Bridge Formation in Porous Media: PEMFC Microchannels

Authors: N. Ibrahim-Rassoul, A. Kessi, E. K. Si-Ahmed, N. Djilali, J. Legrand


The static and dynamic formation of liquid water bridges is analyzed using a combination of visualization experiments in a microchannel with a mathematical model. This paper presents experimental and theoretical findings of water plug/capillary bridge formation in a 250 μm squared microchannel. The approach combines mathematical and numerical modeling with experimental visualization and measurements. The generality of the model is also illustrated for flow conditions encountered in manipulation of polymeric materials and formation of liquid bridges between patterned surfaces. The predictions of the model agree favorably the observations as well as with the experimental recordings.

Keywords: green energy, mathematical modeling, fuel cell, water plug, gas diffusion layer, surface of revolution

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15 Robust Design of Electroosmosis Driven Self-Circulating Micromixer for Biological Applications

Authors: Bahram Talebjedi, Emily Earl, Mina Hoorfar


One of the issues that arises with microscale lab-on-a-chip technology is that the laminar flow within the microchannels limits the mixing of fluids. To combat this, micromixers have been introduced as a means to try and incorporate turbulence into the flow to better aid the mixing process. This study presents an electroosmotic micromixer that balances vortex generation and degeneration with the inlet flow velocity to greatly increase the mixing efficiency. A comprehensive parametric study was performed to evaluate the role of the relevant parameters on the mixing efficiency. It was observed that the suggested micromixer is perfectly suited for biological applications due to its low pressure drop (below 10 Pa) and low shear rate. The proposed micromixer with optimized working parameters is able to attain a mixing efficiency of 95% in a span of 0.5 seconds using a frequency of 10 Hz, a voltage of 0.7 V, and an inlet velocity of 0.366 mm/s.

Keywords: microfluidics, active mixer, pulsed AC electroosmosis flow, micromixer

Procedia PDF Downloads 55
14 Electrode Engineering for On-Chip Liquid Driving by Using Electrokinetic Effect

Authors: Reza Hadjiaghaie Vafaie, Aysan Madanpasandi, Behrooz Zare Desari, Seyedmohammad Mousavi


High lamination in microchannel is one of the main challenges in on-chip components like micro total analyzer systems and lab-on-a-chips. Electro-osmotic force is highly effective in chip-scale. This research proposes a microfluidic-based micropump for low ionic strength solutions. Narrow microchannels are designed to generate an efficient electroosmotic flow near the walls. Microelectrodes are embedded in the lateral sides and actuated by low electric potential to generate pumping effect inside the channel. Based on the simulation study, the fluid velocity increases by increasing the electric potential amplitude. We achieve a net flow velocity of 100 µm/s, by applying +/- 2 V to the electrode structures. Our proposed low voltage design is of interest in conventional lab-on-a-chip applications.

Keywords: integration, electrokinetic, on-chip, fluid pumping, microfluidic

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13 Complex Cooling Approach in Microchannel Heat Exchangers Using Solid and Hollow Fins

Authors: Nahum Yustus Godi


A three-dimensional numerical optimisation of combined microchannels with constructal solid, half hollow, and hollow circular fins is documented in this paper. The technique seeks to minimize peak temperature in the entire volume of the microchannel heat sink. The volume and axial length were all fixed, while the width of the microchannel could morph. High-density heat flux was applied at the bottom wall of the microchannel. The coolant employed to remove the heat deposited at the bottom surface of the microchannel was a single-phase fluid (water) in a forced convection laminar condition, and heat transfer was a conjugate problem. The unit cell symmetrical computation domain was discretised, and governing equations were solved using computational fluid dynamic (CFD) code. The results reveal that the combined microchannel with hollow circular fins and solid fins performed better at different Reynolds numbers. The numerical study was validated for the single microchannel without fins and found to be in good agreement with previous studies.

Keywords: constructal fins, complex heat exchangers, cooling technique, numerical optimisation

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12 An Experimental Study on the Effects of Aspect Ratio of a Rectangular Microchannel on the Two-Phase Frictional Pressure Drop

Authors: J. A. Louw Coetzee, Josua P. Meyer


The thermodynamic properties of different refrigerants in combination with the variation in geometrical properties (hydraulic diameter, aspect ratio, and inclination angle) of a rectangular microchannel determine the two-phase frictional pressure gradient. The effect of aspect ratio on frictional pressure drop had not been investigated enough during adiabatic two-phase flow and condensation in rectangular microchannels. This experimental study was concerned with measurement of the frictional pressure gradient in a rectangular microchannel, with hydraulic diameter of 900 μm. The aspect ratio of this microchannel was varied over a range that stretched from 0.3 to 3 in order to capture the effect of aspect ratio variation. A commonly used refrigerant, R134a, was used in the tests that spanned over a mass flux range of 100 to 1000 kg m-2 s-1 as well as the whole vapour quality range. This study formed part of a refrigerant condensation experiment and was therefore conducted at a saturation temperature of 40 °C. The study found that there was little influence of the aspect ratio on the frictional pressure drop at the test conditions. The data was compared to some of the well known micro- and macro-channel two-phase pressure drop correlations. Most of the separated flow correlations predicted the pressure drop data well at mass fluxes larger than 400 kg m-2 s-1 and vapour qualities above 0.2.

Keywords: aspect ratio, microchannel, two-phase, pressure gradient

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11 Reorientation of Anisotropic Particles in Free Liquid Microjets

Authors: Mathias Schlenk, Susanne Seibt, Sabine Rosenfeldt, Josef Breu, Stephan Foerster


Thin liquid jets on micrometer scale play an important role in processing such as in fiber fabrication, inkjet printing, but also for sample delivery in modern synchrotron X-ray devices. In all these cases the liquid jets contain solvents and dissolved materials such as polymers, nanoparticles, fibers pigments or proteins. As liquid flow in liquid jets differs significantly from flow in capillaries and microchannels, particle localization and orientation will also be different. This is of critical importance for applications, which depend on well-defined homogeneous particle and fiber distribution and orientation in liquid jets. Investigations of particle orientation in liquid microjets of diluted solutions have been rare, despite their importance. With the arise of micro-focused X-ray beams it has become possible to scan across samples with micrometer resolution to locally analyse structure and orientation of the samples. In the present work, we used this method to scan across liquid microjets to determine the local distribution and orientation of anisotropic particles. The compromise wormlike block copolymer micelles as an example of long flexible fibrous structures, hectorite materials as a model of extended nanosheet structures, and gold nanorods as an illustration of short stiff cylinders to comprise all relevant anisotropic geometries. We find that due to the different velocity profile in the liquid jet, which resembles plug flow, the orientation of the particles which was generated in the capillary is lost or changed into non-oriented or bi-axially orientations depending on the geometrical shape of the particle.

Keywords: anisotropic particles, liquid microjets, reorientation, SAXS

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10 A 3D Bioprinting System for Engineering Cell-Embedded Hydrogels by Digital Light Processing

Authors: Jimmy Jiun-Ming Su, Yuan-Min Lin


Bioprinting has been applied to produce 3D cellular constructs for tissue engineering. Microextrusion printing is the most common used method. However, printing low viscosity bioink is a challenge for this method. Herein, we developed a new 3D printing system to fabricate cell-laden hydrogels via a DLP-based projector. The bioprinter is assembled from affordable equipment including a stepper motor, screw, LED-based DLP projector, open source computer hardware and software. The system can use low viscosity and photo-polymerized bioink to fabricate 3D tissue mimics in a layer-by-layer manner. In this study, we used gelatin methylacrylate (GelMA) as bioink for stem cell encapsulation. In order to reinforce the printed construct, surface modified hydroxyapatite has been added in the bioink. We demonstrated the silanization of hydroxyapatite could improve the crosslinking between the interface of hydroxyapatite and GelMA. The results showed that the incorporation of silanized hydroxyapatite into the bioink had an enhancing effect on the mechanical properties of printed hydrogel, in addition, the hydrogel had low cytotoxicity and promoted the differentiation of embedded human bone marrow stem cells (hBMSCs) and retinal pigment epithelium (RPE) cells. Moreover, this bioprinting system has the ability to generate microchannels inside the engineered tissues to facilitate diffusion of nutrients. We believe this 3D bioprinting system has potential to fabricate various tissues for clinical applications and regenerative medicine in the future.

Keywords: bioprinting, cell encapsulation, digital light processing, GelMA hydrogel

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9 Liquid-Liquid Plug Flow Characteristics in Microchannel with T-Junction

Authors: Anna Yagodnitsyna, Alexander Kovalev, Artur Bilsky


The efficiency of certain technological processes in two-phase microfluidics such as emulsion production, nanomaterial synthesis, nitration, extraction processes etc. depends on two-phase flow regimes in microchannels. For practical application in chemistry and biochemistry it is very important to predict the expected flow pattern for a large variety of fluids and channel geometries. In the case of immiscible liquids, the plug flow is a typical and optimal regime for chemical reactions and needs to be predicted by empirical data or correlations. In this work flow patterns of immiscible liquid-liquid flow in a rectangular microchannel with T-junction are investigated. Three liquid-liquid flow systems are considered, viz. kerosene – water, paraffin oil – water and castor oil – paraffin oil. Different flow patterns such as parallel flow, slug flow, plug flow, dispersed (droplet) flow, and rivulet flow are observed for different velocity ratios. New flow pattern of the parallel flow with steady wavy interface (serpentine flow) has been found. It is shown that flow pattern maps based on Weber numbers for different liquid-liquid systems do not match well. Weber number multiplied by Ohnesorge number is proposed as a parameter to generalize flow maps. Flow maps based on this parameter are superposed well for all liquid-liquid systems of this work and other experiments. Plug length and velocity are measured for the plug flow regime. When dispersed liquid wets channel walls plug length cannot be predicted by known empirical correlations. By means of particle tracking velocimetry technique instantaneous velocity fields in a plug flow regime were measured. Flow circulation inside plug was calculated using velocity data that can be useful for mass flux prediction in chemical reactions.

Keywords: flow patterns, hydrodynamics, liquid-liquid flow, microchannel

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8 Effect of Surfactant Concentration on Dissolution of Hydrodynamically Trapped Sparingly Soluble Oil Micro Droplets

Authors: Adil Mustafa, Ahmet Erten, Alper Kiraz, Melikhan Tanyeri


Work presented here is based on a novel experimental technique used to hydrodynamically trap oil microdroplets inside a microfluidic chip at the junction of microchannels known as stagnation point. Hydrodynamic trapping has been recently used to trap and manipulate a number of particles starting from microbeads to DNA and single cells. Benzyl Benzoate (BB) is used as droplet material. The microdroplets are trapped individually at stagnation point and their dissolution was observed. Experiments are performed for two concentrations (10mM or 10µM) of AOT surfactant (Docusate Sodium Salt) and two flow rates for each case. Moreover, experimental data is compared with Zhang-Yang-Mao (ZYM) model which studies dissolution of liquid microdroplets in the presence of a host fluid experiencing extensional creeping flow. Industrial processes like polymer blending systems in which heat or mass transport occurs experience extensional flow and an insight into these phenomena is of significant importance to many industrial processes. The experimental technique exploited here gives an insight into the dissolution of liquid microdroplets under extensional flow regime. The comparison of our experimental results with ZYM model reveals that dissolution of microdroplets at lower surfactant concentration (10µM) fits the ZYM model at saturation concentration (Cs) value reported in literature (Cs = 15×10⁻³Kg\m³) while for higher surfactant concentration (10mM) which is also above the critical micelle concentration (CMC) of surfactant (5mM) the data fits ZYM model at (Cs = 45×10⁻³Kg\m³) which is 3X times the value reported in literature. The difference in Cs value from the literature shows enhancement in dissolution rate of sparingly soluble BB microdroplets at surfactant concentrations higher than CMC. Enhancement in the dissolution of sparingly soluble materials is of great importance in pharmaceutical industry. Enhancement in the dissolution of sparingly soluble drugs is a key research area for drug design industry. The experimental method is also advantageous because it is robust and has no mechanical contact with droplets under study are freely suspended in the fluid as compared existing methods used for testing dissolution of drugs. The experiments also give an insight into CMC measurement for surfactants.

Keywords: extensional flow, hydrodynamic trapping, Zhang-Yang-Mao, CMC

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7 Multi-Size Continuous Particle Separation on a Dielectrophoresis-Based Microfluidics Chip

Authors: Arash Dalili, Hamed Tahmouressi, Mina Hoorfar


Advances in lab-on-a-chip (LOC) devices have led to significant advances in the manipulation, separation, and isolation of particles and cells. Among the different active and passive particle manipulation methods, dielectrophoresis (DEP) has been proven to be a versatile mechanism as it is label-free, cost-effective, simple to operate, and has high manipulation efficiency. DEP has been applied for a wide range of biological and environmental applications. A popular form of DEP devices is the continuous manipulation of particles by using co-planar slanted electrodes, which utilizes a sheath flow to focus the particles into one side of the microchannel. When particles enter the DEP manipulation zone, the negative DEP (nDEP) force generated by the slanted electrodes deflects the particles laterally towards the opposite side of the microchannel. The lateral displacement of the particles is dependent on multiple parameters including the geometry of the electrodes, the width, length and height of the microchannel, the size of the particles and the throughput. In this study, COMSOL Multiphysics® modeling along with experimental studies are used to investigate the effect of the aforementioned parameters. The electric field between the electrodes and the induced DEP force on the particles are modelled by COMSOL Multiphysics®. The simulation model is used to show the effect of the DEP force on the particles, and how the geometry of the electrodes (width of the electrodes and the gap between them) plays a role in the manipulation of polystyrene microparticles. The simulation results show that increasing the electrode width to a certain limit, which depends on the height of the channel, increases the induced DEP force. Also, decreasing the gap between the electrodes leads to a stronger DEP force. Based on these results, criteria for the fabrication of the electrodes were found, and soft lithography was used to fabricate interdigitated slanted electrodes and microchannels. Experimental studies were run to find the effect of the flow rate, geometrical parameters of the microchannel such as length, width, and height as well as the electrodes’ angle on the displacement of 5 um, 10 um and 15 um polystyrene particles. An empirical equation is developed to predict the displacement of the particles under different conditions. It is shown that the displacement of the particles is more for longer and lower height channels, lower flow rates, and bigger particles. On the other hand, the effect of the angle of the electrodes on the displacement of the particles was negligible. Based on the results, we have developed an optimum design (in terms of efficiency and throughput) for three size separation of particles.

Keywords: COMSOL Multiphysics, Dielectrophoresis, Microfluidics, Particle separation

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6 Reducing Pressure Drop in Microscale Channel Using Constructal Theory

Authors: K. X. Cheng, A. L. Goh, K. T. Ooi


The effectiveness of microchannels in enhancing heat transfer has been demonstrated in the semiconductor industry. In order to tap the microscale heat transfer effects into macro geometries, overcoming the cost and technological constraints, microscale passages were created in macro geometries machined using conventional fabrication methods. A cylindrical insert was placed within a pipe, and geometrical profiles were created on the outer surface of the insert to enhance heat transfer under steady-state single-phase liquid flow conditions. However, while heat transfer coefficient values of above 10 kW/m2·K were achieved, the heat transfer enhancement was accompanied by undesirable pressure drop increment. Therefore, this study aims to address the high pressure drop issue using Constructal theory, a universal design law for both animate and inanimate systems. Two designs based on Constructal theory were developed to study the effectiveness of Constructal features in reducing the pressure drop increment as compared to parallel channels, which are commonly found in microchannel fabrication. The hydrodynamic and heat transfer performance for the Tree insert and Constructal fin (Cfin) insert were studied using experimental methods, and the underlying mechanisms were substantiated by numerical results. In technical terms, the objective is to achieve at least comparable increment in both heat transfer coefficient and pressure drop, if not higher increment in the former parameter. Results show that the Tree insert improved the heat transfer performance by more than 16 percent at low flow rates, as compared to the Tree-parallel insert. However, the heat transfer enhancement reduced to less than 5 percent at high Reynolds numbers. On the other hand, the pressure drop increment stayed almost constant at 20 percent. This suggests that the Tree insert has better heat transfer performance in the low Reynolds number region. More importantly, the Cfin insert displayed improved heat transfer performance along with favourable hydrodynamic performance, as compared to Cfinparallel insert, at all flow rates in this study. At 2 L/min, the enhancement of heat transfer was more than 30 percent, with 20 percent pressure drop increment, as compared to Cfin-parallel insert. Furthermore, comparable increment in both heat transfer coefficient and pressure drop was observed at 8 L/min. In other words, the Cfin insert successfully achieved the objective of this study. Analysis of the results suggests that bifurcation of flows is effective in reducing the increment in pressure drop relative to heat transfer enhancement. Optimising the geometries of the Constructal fins is therefore the potential future study in achieving a bigger stride in energy efficiency at much lower costs.

Keywords: constructal theory, enhanced heat transfer, microchannel, pressure drop

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