Three-dimensional (3D)-printed microfluidic devices offer new ways to study fluid dynamics. We present a clear visualization of vortex breakdown in a dividing T-junction flow. By individual control of the inflow and two outflows, we decouple the effects of swirl and rate of vorticity decay. We show that even slight outflow imbalances can greatly alter the structure of vortex breakdown, by creating a net pressure difference across the junction. Our results are summarized in a dimensionless phase diagram, which will guide the use of vortex breakdown in T-junctions to achieve specific flow manipulation.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Computational Mechanics
- Modeling and Simulation
- Fluid Flow and Transfer Processes