In this study, we investigated inelastic non-Newtonian fluid flow over heterogeneously slippery surfaces. First, we simulated the flow of aqueous xanthan gum solutions over a bubble mattress, which is a superhydrophobic surface consisting of transversely positioned no-slip walls and no-shear gas bubbles. The results reveal that for shear-thinning fluids wall slip can be increased significantly, provided that the system is operated in the shear-thinning regime. For a 0.2 wt% xanthan gum solution with a power-law index of n=0.4, the numerical results indicate that wall slip can be enhanced 3.2 times when compared to a Newtonian liquid. This enhancement factor was also predicted from a theoretical analysis, which gave an expression for the maximum slip length that can be attained over flat, heterogeneously slippery surfaces. Although this equation was derived for a no-slip/no-shear unit length that is much larger than the typical size of the system, we found that it can also be used to predict the enhancement in the regime where the slip length is proportional to the size of the no-shear region or the bubble width. The results could be coupled to the hydrodynamic development or entrance length of the system, as maximum wall slip is only reached when the fluid flow can fully adapt to the no-slip and no-shear conditions at the wall.
|Physical review E: covering statistical, nonlinear, biological, and soft matter physics
|Published - 2017
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