Numerical study of thermocoalescence of microdroplets in a microfluidic chamber
Ho, Peng Ching
Date of Issue2013
School of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering
The present paper reports the numerical investigation of thermocoalescence of droplets in a microchannel network consisting of a droplet formation section connecting to a temperature-induced merging chamber. The numerical model is formulated as an incompressible immiscible two-phase flow problem with oil and water as the continuous and dispersed phase, respectively. The governing equations are solved using finite volume method on a staggered mesh. The interface is captured by a narrow-band particle level-set method. The paper examines the droplet formation process and droplet size at 4 different ratios of oil and water flow rate. The motion of the droplets from the formation section into and through the heat-induced merging chamber is analyzed. The numerical method is able to provide a visual presentation of the droplet movement in a heated environment under the influence of thermocapillarity. The relationship between the critical merging temperature and the fluid flow rate is also analyzed and discussed.
Physics of fluids
© 2013 AIP Publishing LLC. This paper was published in Physics of Fluids and is made available as an electronic reprint (preprint) with permission of AIP Publishing LLC. The paper can be found at the following official DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1063/1.4819134. One print or electronic copy may be made for personal use only. Systematic or multiple reproduction, distribution to multiple locations via electronic or other means, duplication of any material in this paper for a fee or for commercial purposes, or modification of the content of the paper is prohibited and is subject to penalties under law.