Effects of material surface characteristics on thermal-hydraulics in microchannel flow of Newtonian fluids

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Calvario, Daniel Edward
Ravigururajan, Tiruvadi S.

An investigation was conducted for fluid flow through microchannels to obtain a working correlation that can be used for any material and most commonly used Newtonian fluid. The microchannels that were studied had a hydraulic diameter ranging from 100 - 500 μm, with the flow in the laminar region (Re < 1500) and fluids we considered were Newtonian. This investigation showed that the surface roughness alters the fluid flow in microchannels. Studying the results, the authors showed that when predicting fluid flow in microchannels, the surface roughness must be considered. Two correlations were developed for the prediction of the thermal-hydraulic characteristics of fluid flow in microchannels; both correlations take into account the material surface roughness. Additionally, the study shows that in order to minimize the pressure drop in microchannels, a smaller surface roughness may be helpful. However, the opposite is true for heat transfer characteristics. This study provides tools to account for the influence of surface roughness characteristics, of various materials, on the prediction of the friction factor and the heat transfer coefficient in microchannels.

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Thesis (M.S.)--Wichita State University, College of Engineering, Dept. of Mechanical Engineering