In this study, the characteristics of oscillating pressure-driven flow in a microdiffuser are examined by μPIV (micro Particle Image Velocimetry) diagnostics. Utilizing a cam-follower system, a dynamic pressure generator is built in-house to provide a time-varying sinusoidal pressure source. Three parameters are examined experimentally: the excitation frequency, the cam size, and the half-angle of the microdiffuser. Driven by oscillating pressure, we find that there exists an optimal half-angle such that maximum net flow is attained in the expansion direction. Contrarily to the prediction of hydraulics theory which only considers steady flow, flow in the microdiffuser of the optimal half-angle does not necessarily remain attached. Rather, maximum net flow can also occur in microdiffusers where vortices retain a slender shape. When vortex bubbles are slender, the μPIV results reveal that the core flow accelerates to a higher forward velocity during the first half of the cycle and flow rectification is actually enhanced. Due to the three-dimensional flow structure, fluid is drawn out of the vortices near the reattachment point to join the core flow and consequently magnifies the forward flow. As the half-angle increases, vortices become rounder and the core flow is drastically narrowed to reduce flow rectification.
Experiments in Fluids – Springer Journals
Published: Sep 23, 2011
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