Lane change in flows through pillared microchannels

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It is known that viscoelastic fluids exhibit elastic instabilities in simple shear flow and flow with curved streamlines. During flow through a straight microchannel with pillars, we found strikingly strong hydrodynamic instabilities characterized by very large transversal excursions, even leading to a complete change in lanes, and the presence of fast and slowmoving lanes. Particle image velocimetry measurements through a pillared microchannel provide experimental evidence of these instabilities at a very low Reynolds number (< 0.01). The instability is characterized by a rapid increase in spatial and temporal fluctuations of velocity components and pressure at a critical Deborah number. We characterize under which conditions these strong instabilities arise.

Original languageEnglish
Article number113102
Number of pages9
JournalPhysics of Fluids
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2017


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