Central European Journal of Engineering vol:1 issue:4 pages:341-360
Computational fluid dynamics (CFD) is an important tool for development of microfluidic systems based on gas-liquid two-phase flow. The formation of Taylor slugs at microchannel T-junctions has been studied both experimentally and numerically, however discrepancies still exist because of difficulties in correctly representing experimental conditions and uncertainties in the physics controlling slug flow, such as contact line and velocity slip. In this paper detailed methods and results are described for the study of Santos and Kawaji (2010) on the comparison of experimental results and numerical modeling. The system studied consisted of a rectangular microchannel T-junction nominally 100 micrometers in hydraulic diameter, used to generate Taylor slugs from air-water perpendicular flow. The effect of flow rates on parameters such as slug length, velocity slip, void fraction and two-phase frictional pressure drop were studied. Numerical simulation was performed using FLUENT volume-of-fluid (VOF) model. It is proposed in this paper that this microfluidic problem be taken up by researchers in the field as a benchmark case to test other numeric codes in comparison to FLUENT on the prediction of micro-scale multiphase flow, and also to model in more detail the experimental system described to obtain greater accuracy in prediction of microfluidic slug formation.