Evaluation of the mixing performance of the micromixers with grooved or obstructed channels

Yeng-Yung Tsui*, Ching Shiang Yang, Chung Ming Hsieh

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

10 Scopus citations


The mixing flows in microchannels were examined using numerical methods. To speed up fluid mixing, it is essential to generate lateral transport of mass. In this study, the mixing flow is disrupted by either placing grooves or block obstacles on the walls of the channels. Since the grooves or the blocks appear in a periodic configuration, the velocity is solved only in a section of the channel. With the repeating cycle of flow velocity field, the fluid concentration can be calculated throughout the entire length of the channel. Good agreement with experiments in the mixing performance justifies the present methodology. Two different channel configurations are under consideration: grooved channels and obstructed channels. The results reveal that with straight grooves, a well organized vortex flow is formed in the vertical plane along the groove, which leads to a helical flow in the channel. The mixing performance can be enhanced by having grooves on both the top and the bottom walls arranged in a staggered manner, by which the transversal velocity is largely increased. It is seen that the strength of the secondary flow and, thus, the mixing can be improved by suitably choosing geometric parameters of the groove, such as the depth, the width, and the oblique angle. It is also shown that the efficient mixing for the staggered herringbone type groove is due to the fluid stratification caused by the exchange of position of the resulted counter-rotating vortices. As for the obstructed channels, the flows are in essence two dimensional. Very strong transversal velocity can be produced by narrowing down the flow passage in the channel. However, the efficient mixing is obtained at the cost of large pressure head loss.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)711021-7110210
Number of pages6399190
JournalJournal of Fluids Engineering, Transactions of the ASME
Issue number7
StatePublished - 1 Jul 2008

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