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Open AccessArticle

Gas Mixing and Final Mixture Composition Control in Simple Geometry Micro-mixers via DSMC Analysis

1
Institute of Mechanics, Bulgarian Academy of Sciences, Acad. G. Bontchev St. bl. 4, 1113 Sofia, Bulgaria
2
Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of Thessaly—Pedion Areos, 38334 Volos, Greece
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Micromachines 2019, 10(3), 178; https://doi.org/10.3390/mi10030178
Received: 30 January 2019 / Revised: 1 March 2019 / Accepted: 1 March 2019 / Published: 7 March 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Gas Flows in Microsystems)
The mixing process of two pressure driven steady-state rarefied gas streams flowing between two parallel plates was investigated via DSMC (Direct Simulation Monte Carlo) for different combinations of gases. The distance from the inlet, where the associated relative density difference of each species is minimized and the associated mixture homogeneity is optimized, is the so-called mixing length. In general, gas mixing progressed very rapidly. The type of gas surface interaction was clearly the most important parameter affecting gas mixing. As the reflection became more specular, the mixing length significantly increased. The mixing lengths of the HS (hard sphere) and VHS (variable hard sphere) collision models were higher than those of the VSS (variable soft sphere) model, while the corresponding relative density differences were negligible. In addition, the molecular mass ratio of the two components had a minor effect on the mixing length and a more important effect on the relative density difference. The mixture became less homogenous as the molecular mass ratio reduced. Finally, varying the channel length and/or the wall temperature had a minor effect. Furthermore, it was proposed to control the output mixture composition by adding in the mixing zone, the so-called splitter, separating the downstream flow into two outlet mainstreams. Based on intensive simulation data with the splitter, simple approximate expressions were derived, capable of providing, once the desired outlet mixture composition was specified, the correct position of the splitter, without performing time consuming simulations. The mixing analysis performed and the proposed approach for controlling gas mixing may support corresponding experimental work, as well as the design of gas micro-mixers. View Full-Text
Keywords: binary gas mixing; micro-mixer; DSMC; splitter; mixing length; control mixture composition binary gas mixing; micro-mixer; DSMC; splitter; mixing length; control mixture composition
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Meskos, S.; Stefanov, S.; Valougeorgis, D. Gas Mixing and Final Mixture Composition Control in Simple Geometry Micro-mixers via DSMC Analysis. Micromachines 2019, 10, 178.

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