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Open AccessArticle

Directional Water Wicking on a Metal Surface Patterned by Microchannels

1
UMR1114 EMMAH INRAE—Avignon Université, F-84914 Avignon, France
2
Department of Mechanical Engineering, Baden-Württemberg Cooperative State University Mannheim, Coblitzallee 1-9, D-68163 Mannheim, Germany
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Hansang Kwon
Materials 2021, 14(3), 490; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma14030490
Received: 4 November 2020 / Revised: 12 January 2021 / Accepted: 14 January 2021 / Published: 20 January 2021
This work focuses on the simulation and experimental study of directional wicking of water on a surface structured by open microchannels. Stainless steel was chosen as the material for the structure motivated by industrial applications as fuel cells. Inspired by nature and literature, we designed a fin type structure. Using Selective Laser Melting (SLM) the fin type structure was manufactured additively with a resolution down to about 30 μm. The geometry was manufactured with three different scalings and both the experiments and the simulation show that the efficiency of the water transport depends on dimensionless numbers such as Reynolds and Capillary numbers. Full 3D numerical simulations of the multiphase Navier-Stokes equations using Volume of Fluid (VOF) and Lattice-Boltzmann (LBM) methods reproduce qualitatively the experimental results and provide new insight into the details of dynamics at small space and time scales. The influence of the static contact angle on the directional wicking was also studied. The simulation enabled estimation of the contact angle threshold beyond which transport vanishes in addition to the optimal contact angle for transport. View Full-Text
Keywords: directional wicking; patterned surface; wetting dynamics; capillarity, 3D simulation; Volume of Fluid; Lattice Boltzmann Method; Selective Laser Melting Manufacturing; microstructure directional wicking; patterned surface; wetting dynamics; capillarity, 3D simulation; Volume of Fluid; Lattice Boltzmann Method; Selective Laser Melting Manufacturing; microstructure
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MDPI and ACS Style

Abbaspour, N.; Beltrame, P.; Néel, M.-C.; Schulz, V.P. Directional Water Wicking on a Metal Surface Patterned by Microchannels. Materials 2021, 14, 490. https://doi.org/10.3390/ma14030490

AMA Style

Abbaspour N, Beltrame P, Néel M-C, Schulz VP. Directional Water Wicking on a Metal Surface Patterned by Microchannels. Materials. 2021; 14(3):490. https://doi.org/10.3390/ma14030490

Chicago/Turabian Style

Abbaspour, Nima; Beltrame, Philippe; Néel, Marie-Christine; Schulz, Volker P. 2021. "Directional Water Wicking on a Metal Surface Patterned by Microchannels" Materials 14, no. 3: 490. https://doi.org/10.3390/ma14030490

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