Experiment: Test the Structure of a Microfluidic Flow Structure

Topics: Fluid dynamics, Viscosity, Fluid mechanics Pages: 4 (1584 words) Published: November 24, 2013
Aim
The purpose of this experiment was to plan, design, fabricate and test the structure of a microfluidic flow structure.

Background
Microfluidic structures are a relatively new topic of study. While the concept of fluids and the study of the flow of fluids through all sorts of various forms of ducts, environments and scenarios have been extensively studied by some of the greatest minds of in history, the novelty of microfluidics is not surprising. This is due to the fact that despite the fact that the previously mentioned minds have scrutinized fluid mechanics, it is still a concept that is cloudy at best. However, before this concept can be explained, one must define the proper terms of the study of fluid mechanics. Unlike the study of solid mechanics, or even the study of dynamic movement of bodies and forces, fluid mechanics posed a problem for many scientists. This was mainly due to the amorphous nature of fluids. The study of forces on solid structures and objects is somewhat facilitated by the fact that sturdy structure of sample manages to retain its original shape and volume even though it is exposed to minute external forces that the researcher cannot control. However, for fluids, even the most insignificant gust or the slightest of disturbances can cause the fluid to ripple wildly, disturbing the surface and thus making the measurement of the forces on the body to prove difficult, if not impossible. Furthermore, fluid mechanics is difficult in the fact that the assumption of homogenous internal force distribution is not applicable to fluids makes even the simplest tests to be a time consuming exercise. However, despite all these obstacles, over the years, people have managed to properly quantify the flow of a fluid. By establishing a dimensionless number called the Reynolds’ number, it is possible to divide various flows into three separate regions wherein each region with its governing equations. Introduced by the famous mathematician Stokes...
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