Numerical study of droplet formation in a Y-junction microchannel
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ENSIAME – École Nationale Supérieure d’Ingénieurs en Informatique Automatique Mécanique Énergétique Électronique Engineering School in Valenciennes
Petroleum Engineering Undergraduate Program and Graduate Energy Program, Federal University of Espirito Santo – UFES
Submission date: 2016-02-05
Acceptance date: 2016-09-11
Online publication date: 2017-01-15
Publication date: 2017-01-15
Journal of Theoretical and Applied Mechanics 2017;55(1):317–330
This study investigates the formation process of droplets in a Y-junction microchannel using two immiscible fluids: water as the continuous fluid and oil as the dispersed phase. We have examined the influence of the capillary number, flow rate ratio and viscosity ratio between the two fluids; parameters which determine the length and generation frequency of the droplets. Numerical simulations have been performed using the software Ansys Fluent with the interface capture method Volume of Fluid (VOF) for solving the governing equations. Three different algorithms have been tested for the pressure-velocity coupling: SIMPLE, SIMPLEC and PISO. The results are quite similar for SIMPLE and SIMPLEC, however it turned out that PISO is a better algorithm to solve the two-phase flow. Additionally, another Y-junction is coupled in the initial geometry to observe a symmetric breakup of the droplets and their formation is explained using the pressure field and the velocity field.