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Document Type

Open Access

Degree Program

Mechanical Engineering

Degree Type

Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering (M.S.M.E.)

Year Degree Awarded

2012

Month Degree Awarded

May

Keywords

Viscoelastic flow, Contraction geometries, Microfluidics, Boger Fluid, surfactant solutions and Lip Vortices

Abstract

Contraction flow of viscoelastic fluids has been a benchmark problem in non-Newtonian fluid mechanics because it mimics flows occurring in a number of industrial applications. It is also of considerable interest to academia to gain fundamental understanding of factors that affect the evolution of vortices and a complete understanding of the dynamics for a simple polymeric fluid has not been achieved. In this two part study we investigate the effect of pre deformation of a Boger fluid in a contraction geometry and the flow of surfactants in a parallel contraction geometry.

Entry flow of a polymeric fluid results in the formation of upstream vortices,the presence of recirculation zones may lead to a nonuniform residence time and hence inferior quality products. In this work we study the effect of pre-stretching dilute flexible chain polymers by placing a cylinder in front of a contraction in a microfluidic device.This deformation applied to the polymer is remembered before it completely relaxes, this memory effect changes the rheological properties during the fading period of the deformation history. Applying pre-deformation gives rise to new type of vortex evolution that is different from the standard contraction case.

Semi-dilute surfactant solutions that exhibit shear thickening nature can be potentially used in enhanced oil recovery to increase the sweep efficiency. Two parallel microfluidic contractions of different cross sectional area are used to investigate the rheological effect on the mass flux of the two channels. Shear thickening micellar solutions were found to increase the mass flux through the small channel compared to a newtonian fluid. This effect was observed only for a small range of flow rates. As flow rates increased inlet instabilities were observed that evolved into a chaotic behavior upon further increase in the net flow rate.

First Advisor

Jonathan P. Rothstein

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