Flow characteristics of co-flowing, laminar streams in a rectangular microchannel Public Deposited

http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/graduate_thesis_or_dissertations/47429c46r

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  • The effects of varying flow rate ratio and Reynolds number on the momentum diffusion and flow development of two co-flowing, laminar streams in a rectangular microchannel are presented. The microchannel has an aspect ratio of approximately 16 with a width of 1006 μm and a height of 63 μm. A long, thin splitter plate initially separates the two streams such that fully developed flow in each of the two channels is obtained prior to merging. Fluorescent dye imaging and Particle Image Velocimetry (PIV) were utilized to observe the interaction between the streams for a range of flow rate ratios ranging from one to nine while maintaining a chamber Reynolds number of one. Additionally, PIV data was collected for the same flow rate ratios with a chamber Reynolds number of ten. It was found that when there is a velocity difference between the two streams, there is a cross-stream pressure gradient immediately downstream of the splitter plate that causes the faster moving fluid to expand into the slower moving fluid. Despite this rapid expansion, the fluids in two streams do not mix and continue to travel parallel to each other. As expected, the expansion of the faster moving fluid is diminished by the viscous effects present in the flow, although only at higher flow rate ratios. The merged streams eventually recover their fully developed profile although it is shown that existing entrance length relationships do not adequately predict the development length. In addition, the velocity flow characteristics between the streams is illustrated near the end of the splitter plate. As the streams travel past the splitter plate, the flow-wise momentum of the faster moving fluid is converted into a lateral, cross-stream velocity. The presence of an optimum flow rate ratio for obtaining a maximum cross-stream velocity magnitude is suggested. The effect of varying Reynolds number on these observations is also discussed.
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