This research is directed towards understanding the mechanisms associated with the manufacture of solid microspheres less than 100 [micrometers], from liquid droplets with nanosuspensions in a microfluidic T-junction, which are heated downstream of the channel. Preliminary material characterization tests on colloidal suspensions of alumina and copper oxide demonstrate promising temperature dependent viscosity results indicating solidification in the temperature range of 40Â°C-50Â°C. The solidification mechanism is referred to as Temperature Induced Forming and is described by polymeric bridges formed between nanoparticles in suspension at elevated temperatures, resulting in a solid structure. The polymer network results from the ionization of alumina at elevated temperatures whereby polymeric binders adhere to newly formed charged sites on the alumina particle. This study aims to investigate the aspects of manufacturing microstructures in microfluidic Tjunctions, droplet morphology, size and frequency of production. Preliminary low solid concentration experiments (1%-10% volume concentration of alumina in H2O) have indicated solidification and a regression in droplet diameter when heated near the saturation temperature of the water used to disperse the particles. The microstructures from this solidification process are uniform and are estimated to be 30 [micrometers] in size.
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Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering (B.S.M.E.)
College of Engineering and Computer Science
Dissertations, Academic -- Engineering and Computer Science; Engineering and Computer Science -- Dissertations, Academic
Length of Campus-only Access
Honors in the Major Thesis
Wilson, James, "Production, control and actuation of micron-sized particles in a microfluidic T-junction" (2013). HIM 1990-2015. 1484.