In this paper, a series of experiments are presented which demonstrate drag reduction for the laminar flow of water through microchannels using superhydrophobic surfaces with random surface microstructure. These superhydrophobic surfaces were fabricated with a simple, inexpensive technique of sanding polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE) with sandpaper having grit sizes between 120- and 600-grit. A microfluidic device was used to measure the pressure drop as a function of the flow rate to determine the drag reduction and slip length of each surface. A maximum pressure drop reduction of 27 % and a maximum apparent slip length of b = 20 μm were obtained for the superhydrophobic surfaces created by sanding PTFE with a 240-grit sandpaper. The pressure drop reduction and slip length were found to increase with increasing mean particle size of the sandpaper up to 240-grit. Beyond that grit size, increasing the pitch of the surface roughness was found to cause the interface to transition from the Cassie–Baxter state to the Wenzel state. This transition was observed both as an increase in the contact angle hysteresis and simultaneously as a reduction in the pressure drop reduction. For these randomly rough surfaces, a correlation between the slip length and the contact angle hysteresis was found. The surfaces with the smallest contact angle hysteresis were found to also have the largest slip length. Finally, a number of sanding protocols were tested by sanding preferentially along the flow direction, across the flow direction and with a random circular pattern. In all cases, sanding in the flow direction was found to produce the largest pressure drop reduction.
Experiments in Fluids – Springer Journals
Published: Jul 27, 2014
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