Numerical studies of shear-thinning droplet formation in a microfluidic T-junction using two-phase level-set method

Wong, Voon Loong and Loizou, Katerina and Lau, Phei-Li and Graham, Richard Stuart and Hewakandamby, Buddhika N. (2017) Numerical studies of shear-thinning droplet formation in a microfluidic T-junction using two-phase level-set method. Chemical Engineering Science, 174 . pp. 157-173. ISSN 1873-4405

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A conservative level-set method (LSM) embedded in a computational fluid dynamics (CFD) simulation provides a useful approach for the studying the physics and underlying mechanism in two-phase flow. Detailed two-dimensional (2D) computational microfluidics flow simulations have been carried out to examine systematically the influence of different controlling parameters such as flow rates, viscosities, surface wettability, and interfacial tensions between two immiscible fluids on the non-Newtonian shear-thinning microdroplets generation process. For the two-phase flow system that neglects the Marangoni effect, the breakup process of shear-thinning microdroplets in cross-flowing immiscible liquids in a microfluidic device with a T-shaped geometry was predicted. Data for the rheological and physical properties of fluids obeying Carreau-Yasuda stress model were empirically obtained to support the computational work. The simulation results show that the relevant control parameters mentioned above have a strong impact on the size of shear-thinning droplets generated. Present computational studies on the role and relative importance of controlling parameters can be established as a conceptual framework of the non-Newtonian droplet generation process and relevant phenomena for future studies.

Item Type: Article
Keywords: Carreau-Yasuda; microfluidics; fluid dynamics; level-set simulation; emulsification
Schools/Departments: University of Nottingham, Malaysia > Faculty of Science and Engineering — Engineering > Department of Chemical and Environmental Engineering
University of Nottingham, UK > Faculty of Science > School of Mathematical Sciences
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Depositing User: Eprints, Support
Date Deposited: 07 Sep 2017 10:53
Last Modified: 04 May 2020 19:25

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