- Award ID(s):
- NSF-PAR ID:
- Date Published:
- Journal Name:
- Page Range / eLocation ID:
- Medium: X
- Sponsoring Org:
- National Science Foundation
More Like this
Having a basic understanding of non-Newtonian fluid flow through porous media, which usually consist of series of expansions and contractions, is of importance for enhanced oil recovery, groundwater remediation, microfluidic particle manipulation, etc. The flow in contraction and/or expansion microchannel is unbounded in the primary direction and has been widely studied before. In contrast, there has been very little work on the understanding of such flow in an expansion–contraction microchannel with a confined cavity. We investigate the flow of five types of non-Newtonian fluids with distinct rheological properties and water through a planar single-cavity microchannel. All fluids are tested in a similarly wide range of flow rates, from which the observed flow regimes and vortex development are summarized in the same dimensionless parameter spaces for a unified understanding of the effects of fluid inertia, shear thinning, and elasticity as well as confinement. Our results indicate that fluid inertia is responsible for developing vortices in the expansion flow, which is trivially affected by the confinement. Fluid shear thinning causes flow separations on the contraction walls, and the interplay between the effects of shear thinning and inertia is dictated by the confinement. Fluid elasticity introduces instability and asymmetry to the contraction flow of polymers with long chains while suppressing the fluid inertia-induced expansion flow vortices. However, the formation and fluctuation of such elasto-inertial fluid vortices exhibit strong digressions from the unconfined flow pattern in a contraction–expansion microchannel of similar dimensions.more » « less
Electroosmotic flow (EOF) has been widely used to transport fluids and samples in micro‐ and nanofluidic channels for lab‐on‐a‐chip applications. This essentially surface‐driven plug‐like flow is, however, sensitive to both the fluid and wall properties, of which any inhomogeneity may draw disturbances to the flow and even instabilities. Existing studies on EOF instabilities have been focused primarily upon Newtonian fluids though many of the chemical and biological solutions are actually non‐Newtonian. We carry out a systematic experimental investigation of the fluid rheological effects on the elastic instability in the EOF of phosphate buffer‐based polymer solutions through T‐shaped microchannels. We find that electro‐elastic instabilities can be induced in shear thinning polyacrylamide (PAA) and xanthan gum (XG) solutions if the applied direct current voltage is above a threshold value. However, no instabilities are observed in Newtonian or weakly shear thinning viscoelastic fluids including polyethylene oxide (PEO), polyvinylpyrrolidone (PVP), and hyaluronic acid (HA) solutions. We also perform a quantitative analysis of the wave parameters for the observed elasto‐elastic instabilities.
The interplay between viscoelasticity and inertia in dilute polymer solutions at high deformation rates can result in inertioelastic instabilities. The nonlinear evolution of these instabilities generates a state of turbulence with significantly different spatiotemporal features compared to Newtonian turbulence, termed elastoinertial turbulence (EIT). We ex- plore EIT by studying the dynamics of a submerged planar jet of a dilute aqueous polymer solution injected into a quiescent tank of water using a combination of schlieren imaging and laser Doppler velocimetry (LDV). We show how fluid elasticity has a nonmonotonic effect on the jet stability depending on its magnitude, creating two distinct regimes in which elastic effects can either destabilize or stabilize the jet. In agreement with linear stability analyses of viscoelastic jets, an inertioelastic shear-layer instability emerges near the edge of the jet for small levels of elasticity, independent of bulk undulations in the fluid column. The growth of this disturbance mode destabilizes the flow, resulting in a turbulence transition at lower Reynolds numbers and closer to the nozzle compared to the conditions required for the transition to turbulence in a Newtonian jet. Increasing the fluid elasticity merges the shear-layer instability into a bulk instability of the jet column. In this regime, elastic tensile stresses generated in the shear layer act as an “elastic membrane” that partially stabilizes the flow, retarding the transition to turbulence to higher levels of inertia and greater distances from the nozzle. In the fully turbulent state far from the nozzle, planar viscoelastic jets exhibit unique spatiotemporal features associated with EIT. The time-averaged angle of jet spreading, an Eulerian measure of the degree of entrainment, and the centerline velocity of the jets both evolve self-similarly with distance from the nozzle. The autocovariance of the schlieren images in the fully turbulent region of the jets shows coherent structures that are elongated in the streamwise direction, consistent with the suppression of streamwise vortices by elastic stresses. These coherent structures give a higher spectral energy to small frequency modes in EIT characterized by LDV measurements of the velocity fluctuations at the jet centerline. Finally, our LDV measurements reveal a frequency spectrum characterized by a −3 power-law exponent, different from the well-known −5/3 power-law exponent characteristic of Newtonian turbulence.more » « less
Insulator‐based dielectrophoretic (iDEP) microdevices have been limited to work with Newtonian fluids. We report an experimental study of the fluid rheological effects on iDEP focusing and trapping of polystyrene particles in polyethylene oxide, xanthan gum, and polyacrylamide solutions through a constricted microchannel. Particle focusing and trapping in the mildly viscoelastic polyethylene oxide solution are slightly weaker than in the Newtonian buffer. They are, however, significantly improved in the strongly viscoelastic and shear thinning polyacrylamide solution. These observed particle focusing behaviors exhibit a similar trend with respect to electric field, consistent with a revised theoretical analysis for iDEP focusing in non‐Newtonian fluids. No apparent focusing of particles is achieved in the xanthan gum solution, though the iDEP trapping can take place under a much larger electric field than the other fluids. This is attributed to the strong shear thinning‐induced influences on both the electroosmotic flow and electrokinetic/dielectrophoretic motions.
Recent studies have demonstrated the strong influences of fluid rheological properties on insulator‐based dielectrophoresis (iDEP) in single‐constriction microchannels. However, it is yet to be understood how iDEP in non‐Newtonian fluids depends on the geometry of insulating structures. We report in this work an experimental study of fluid rheological effects on streaming DEP in a post‐array microchannel that presents multiple contractions and expansions. The iDEP focusing and trapping of particles in a viscoelastic polyethylene oxide solution are comparable to those in a Newtonian buffer, which is consistent with the observations in a single‐constriction microchannel. Similarly, the insignificant iDEP effects in a shear‐thinning xanthan gum solution also agree with those in the single‐constriction channel except that gel‐like structures are observed to only form in the post‐array microchannel under large DC electric fields. In contrast, the iDEP effects in both viscoelastic and shear‐thinning polyacrylamide solution are significantly weaker than in the single‐constriction channel. Moreover, instabilities occur in the electroosmotic flow and appear to be only dependent on the DC electric field. These phenomena may be associated with the dynamics of polymers as they are electrokinetically advected around and through the posts.