Viscous flow through microfabricated axisymmetric contraction/expansion geometries

Francisco Pimenta, Kazumi Toda-Peters, Amy Q. Shen, Manuel A. Alves, Simon J. Haward

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


Abstract: We employ a state-of-the-art microfabrication technique (selective laser-induced etching) to fabricate a set of axisymmetric microfluidic geometries featuring a 4:1 contraction followed by a 1:4 downstream expansion in the radial dimension. Three devices are fabricated: the first has a sudden contraction followed by a sudden expansion, the second features hyperbolic contraction and expansion profiles, and the third has a numerically optimized contraction/expansion profile intended to provide a constant extensional/compressional rate along the axis. We use micro-particle image velocimetry to study the creeping flow of a Newtonian fluid through the three devices and we compare the obtained velocity profiles with finite-volume numerical predictions, with good agreement. This work demonstrates the capability of this new microfabrication technique for producing accurate non-planar microfluidic geometries with complex shapes and with sufficient clarity for optical probes. The axisymmetric microfluidic geometries examined have potential to be used for the study of the extensional properties and non-linear dynamics of viscoelastic flows, and to investigate the transport and deformation dynamics of bubbles, drops, cells, and fibers. Graphic abstract: [Figure not available: see fulltext.]

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number204
JournalExperiments in Fluids
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 1 2020

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computational Mechanics
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Physics and Astronomy(all)
  • Fluid Flow and Transfer Processes


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