The Inertio-Elastic Planar Entry Flow of Low-Viscosity Elastic Fluids in Micro-fabricated Geometries
Author(s)Rodd, Lucy E.; Scott, Timothy P.; Boger, David V.; Cooper-White, Justin J.; McKinley, Gareth H.
The non-Newtonian flow of dilute aqueous polyethylene oxide (PEO) solutions through microfabricated planar abrupt contraction-expansions is investigated. The contraction geometries are fabricated from a high-resolution chrome mask and cross-linked PDMS gels using the tools of soft-lithography. The small length scales and high deformation rates in the contraction throat lead to significant extensional flow effects even with dilute polymer solutions having time constants on the order of milliseconds. The dimensionless extra pressure drop across the contraction increases by more than 200% and is accompanied by significant upstream vortex growth. Streak photography and videomicroscopy using epifluorescent particles shows that the flow ultimately becomes unstable and three-dimensional. The moderate Reynolds numbers (0.03 â¤ Re â¤ 44) associated with these high Deborah number (0 â¤ De â¤ 600) microfluidic flows results in the exploration of new regions of the Re-De parameter space in which the effects of both elasticity and inertia can be observed. Understanding such interactions will be increasingly important in microfluidic applications involving complex fluids and can best be interpreted in terms of the elasticity number, El = De/Re, which is independent of the flow kinematics and depends only on the fluid rheology and the characteristic size of the device.
viscoelasticity, microfluidics, complex flow, abrupt contraction