Beads, bubbles and drops in microchannels: stability of centred position and equilibrium velocity

  • Rivero-Rodriguez, Javier (Universidad de Malaga)
  • Capello, Jean (Université Libre de Bruxelles)
  • Vitry, Youen (Université Libre de Bruxelles)
  • Dewandre, Adrien (Université Libre de Bruxelles)
  • Sobac, Benjamin (Université Libre de Bruxelles)
  • Scheid, Benoit (Université Libre de Bruxelles)

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Understanding and predicting the dynamics of dispersed micro-objects in microfluidics is crucial in numerous natural, industrial and technological situations. We experimentally characterized the equilibrium velocity, $V$, and lateral position, $\varepsilon$, of various dispersed micro-objects such as beads, bubbles and drops, in a cylindrical microchannel over an unprecedent wide range of parameters. The experiments are compared and well-agrees with a steady 3D Navier-Stokes model for incompressible two-phase fluids including both the effects of inertia and possible interfacial deformations. This model enables to rationalize the experiments and to provide an exhaustive parametric analysis on the influence of the main parameters of the problem, mainly on two aspects: the stability of the centered position and the velocity of the dispersed object.