Pressure drop of laminar gas flows in a microchannel containing various pillar matrices

S. Vanapalli, H.J.M. ter Brake, H.V. Jansen, J.F. Burger, H.J. Holland, T.T. Veenstra, M.C. Elwenspoek

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    The pressure drop of gas flows in a microchannel filled with a dense pillar matrix was investigated with specific attention to a pillar shape. Pillars of height 250 µm and aspect ratio of about 10 were etched in silicon using an optimized Bosch deep reactive ion etching process. The pressure drop head-loss coefficient due to compression and expansion of gas at the inlet and outlet of the pillar matrix was estimated to be about 1.4 for an opening ratio of 10. A comparison of friction factor correlations for circular pillar cross-sections agreed rather well with the correlations proposed for the macroscale. Experimentally determined friction factor correlations for several pillar cross-sections for Reynolds numbers in the range of 50–500 are presented. Among the various pillar cross-sections considered, sine-shaped pillars have the lowest friction factor. These pillar structures with low pressure drop but a rather large wetted area can be used quite effectively as regenerative materials enabling the development of microcryocoolers.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)1381-1386
    Number of pages6
    JournalJournal of micromechanics and microengineering
    Publication statusPublished - 14 Jun 2007


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