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.
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