The objective of this study is to refine the understanding of micro-fluidics subject to micro-gravity in an attempt to support future space exploration efforts. A combination of experimental and numerical approaches were utilized to build a validated assessment approach. A quasi-pore geometry, inspired by CT scans of rat bones, was used in lieu of human bone structures. A quasi-1D assessment of the conservation of momentum was used to identify the dominant forces acting on the fluid at the operating length-scales. The dominant forces were surface tension, gravity, and shear stress. Experiments were conducted to visualize the flow moving through the quasi-pore geometry. Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) was used to create a corresponding model of the experiments in order to illicit further insight. The CFD models were validated by using micro-fluidic experiments. Once validated, the CFD model was also used to study micro-fluids in micro-gravity conditions. The results showed that gravity has a significant effect on the flow pattern of fluids through micro-fluidic porous features. The results can be correlated to the fluid flow through bone pores on Earth versus in micro-gravity. This suggests that interstitial fluid flow is influenced by the effects of micro-gravity leading to physiological changes in astronaut bones.
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Master of Science in Aerospace Engineering (M.S.A.E.)
College of Engineering and Computer Science
Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering
Aerospace Engineering; Space System Design and Engineering
Length of Campus-only Access
Masters Thesis (Open Access)
Le Henaff, Sylvain, "A Study of Microgravity on Fluid Transport Through Porous Structures in Microfluidic Devices" (2022). Electronic Theses and Dissertations, 2020-. 1242.