Authors: D.S. Kim, K-C Lee, T.H. Kwon and S.S. Lee
Affilation: Pohang University of Science and Technology, Korea
Pages: 108 - 111
Keywords: microchannels, surface tension, contact angle, transient filling flow, finite element method
In this paper, we investigated, both experimentally and numerically, transient “filling” flow into microchannels, which differs from completely “filled” flow in micro-channels. An experimental flow visualization system was devised to observe the characteristics of microchannel filling flow. Microchannels were fabricated using SU-8 on the silicon substrate. A numerical analysis system has also been developed considering the surface tension effect with a contact angle concept based on the finite element method. Experimental observations show that surface tension affects significantly the filling flow that even a flow blockage phenomenon was observed. Numerical analysis system also confirms that flow blockage phenomena could take place due to the flow hindrance effect of surface tension, which is consistent with experimental observation. Experimental and numerical results in this study could be applied to design microinjection molding, micro-fluidic devices and MIMIC (micromolding in capillaries) process.