Microfluidics is gaining increasing interest in the field of chemical engineering, as miniaturization may lead to a significant intensification of chemical processes. Since the flow is laminar, achieving a good mixing of reactants is one of the main challenges. The simplest geometry is constituted by a T-shaped mixer in which the two inlets join perpendicularly the mixing channel. The inlet cross section is usually square while the mixing channel cross-section is a rectangle as straight walls facilitate experimental and modelling analysis. The present work, on the contrary, is aimed at investigating through Computational Fluid Dynamics the effect of a cross-section with lateral inclined walls, to emulate a microfabrication technology based on laser machining. The presence of inclined walls is found to hamper mixing at high Reynolds numbers as the flow is unable to break the mirror symmetry and thus to undergo the engulfment regime. However, at low Reynold numbers the mixing is improved because the vortex regime presents a lower degree of symmetry with respect to that of T-mixers with straight walls.

Influence of cross-sectional geometry on mixing in a T-shaped micro-junction

Mariotti A.
Primo
;
Lanzetta M.;Dini G.;Rossi A.;Brunazzi E.;Mauri R.;Galletti C.
Ultimo
2019-01-01

Abstract

Microfluidics is gaining increasing interest in the field of chemical engineering, as miniaturization may lead to a significant intensification of chemical processes. Since the flow is laminar, achieving a good mixing of reactants is one of the main challenges. The simplest geometry is constituted by a T-shaped mixer in which the two inlets join perpendicularly the mixing channel. The inlet cross section is usually square while the mixing channel cross-section is a rectangle as straight walls facilitate experimental and modelling analysis. The present work, on the contrary, is aimed at investigating through Computational Fluid Dynamics the effect of a cross-section with lateral inclined walls, to emulate a microfabrication technology based on laser machining. The presence of inclined walls is found to hamper mixing at high Reynolds numbers as the flow is unable to break the mirror symmetry and thus to undergo the engulfment regime. However, at low Reynold numbers the mixing is improved because the vortex regime presents a lower degree of symmetry with respect to that of T-mixers with straight walls.
Mariotti, A.; Lanzetta, M.; Dini, G.; Rossi, A.; Brunazzi, E.; Mauri, R.; Galletti, C.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11568/993343
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