Flow regime transition at high capillary numbers in a microfluidic T-junction: Viscosity contrast and geometry effect
Abbreviated Journal Title
LATTICE BOLTZMANN MODEL; DROPLET FORMATION; DEVICE; MICROCHANNELS; SIMULATION; FLUIDS; BREAK; Mechanics; Physics, Fluids & Plasmas
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]
Physics of Fluids
"Flow regime transition at high capillary numbers in a microfluidic T-junction: Viscosity contrast and geometry effect" (2010). Faculty Bibliography 2010s. 209.