Multiphase flows are complex systems in which a liquid drags other components in gaseous, liquid or solid state. They are ubiquitous in nature and industrial processes and they are one of the most scientific challenges in fluid physics. On the other hand, the new miniaturization techniques permit to reduce the size of many fluidic systems of interest, but they require a deeper understanding on how multi-phasic flows behave at these scales. One of the biggest questions in this field is the stability of the flow and the transition to chaos and turbulence. Microfluidic flows do not enter in turbulent regimes, but some authors have suggested that micro-multi-phasic flows might enter into chaotic flow regimes regardless the scale of the system. However, the topic has not been studied in detail in confined systems. Our first results reveal interesting patterns that need to be studied in more detail. Directly related with small scale systems is the problem of clogging, specially when dealing with suspensions in microfluidic devices. Surprisingly, the topic has only been treated marginally in the literature on microfluidics. Our aim is to find the analogies with the well-known problem of silo clogging or arching in dry granular system, and apply similar techniques to unclog or to prevent the clogging.
Cooperations: University of Twente, Netherlands
Person in charge: NN
Funder: German Research Foundation (DFG)