Title

Flow regime transition at high capillary numbers in a microfluidic T-junction: Viscosity contrast and geometry effect

Authors

Authors

A. Gupta;R. Kumar

Comments

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Abbreviated Journal Title

Phys. Fluids

Keywords

LATTICE BOLTZMANN MODEL; DROPLET FORMATION; DEVICE; MICROCHANNELS; SIMULATION; FLUIDS; BREAK; Mechanics; Physics, Fluids & Plasmas

Abstract

Flow regimes obtained as a consequence of two immiscible fluids interacting at a T-junction are presented for transitional to high capillary numbers and different ratios of the continuous and dispersed phase flow rates and viscosities. Results are presented for the formation of micron-sized droplets using simulations performed based on a three-dimensional lattice Boltzmann method. The influence of viscosity and geometry of the device on the frequency and volume of droplets formed has been examined and the nondimensional drop size correlated with the capillary number and flow rate ratio. This work reveals two important and new physical features: (a) the transition zone separating droplet and jet flows narrows for high capillary numbers and (b) the critical flow rate ratio separating droplet and parallel flows increases as the dispersed to continuous channel width ratio increases, aspects which have been correlated using a simple relation for both transitions from the droplet-at-T-junction to droplet-in-channel and droplet-in-channel to parallel flow. In the droplet-at-T-junction regime, the droplet formation frequency was recorded as a function of the capillary number, flow rate ratio, and the channel width ratio as well. Results show that the transition to stable jets can be delayed and droplets can be formed even at very high flow rate ratios by significantly increasing the viscosity of the continuous phase. (C) 2010 American Institute of Physics. [doi:10.1063/1.3523483]

Journal Title

Physics of Fluids

Volume

22

Issue/Number

12

Publication Date

1-1-2010

Document Type

Article

Language

English

First Page

11

WOS Identifier

WOS:000285770200006

ISSN

1070-6631

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