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This content will become publicly available on November 10, 2023

Title: Reduced modelling and global instability of finite-Reynolds-number flow in compliant rectangular channels
Experiments have shown that flow in compliant microchannels can become unstable at a much lower Reynolds number than the corresponding flow in a rigid conduit. Therefore, it has been suggested that the wall's elastic compliance can be exploited towards new modalities of microscale mixing. While previous studies mainly focused on the local instability induced by the fluid–structure interactions (FSIs) in the system, we derive a one-dimensional (1-D) model to study the FSI's effect on the global instability. The proposed 1-D FSI model is tailored to long, shallow rectangular microchannels with a deformable top wall, similar to the experiments. Going beyond the usual lubrication flows analysed in these geometries, we include finite fluid inertia and couple the reduced flow equations to a novel reduced 1-D wall deformation equation. Although a quantitative comparison with previous experiments is difficult, the behaviours of the proposed model show, qualitatively, agreement with the experimental observations, and capture several key effects. Specifically, we find the critical conditions under which the inflated base state of the 1-D FSI model is linearly unstable to infinitesimal perturbations. The critical Reynolds numbers predicted are in agreement with experimental observations. The unstable modes are highly oscillatory, with frequencies close to the natural more » frequency of the wall, suggesting that the observed instabilities are resonance phenomena. Furthermore, during the start-up from an undeformed initial state, self-sustained oscillations can be triggered by FSI. Our modelling framework can be applied to other microfluidic systems with similar geometric scale separation under different operating conditions. « less
Award ID(s):
1705637 2029540
Publication Date:
Journal Name:
Journal of Fluid Mechanics
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
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