Viscoelastic Droplet Dynamics in Y-shaped Capillary Channel

Authors: Wang, Y.W., Do-Quang, M., Amberg, G.A.
Document Type: Article
Pubstate: Published
Journal: Physics of Fluids
Volume: 28   033103
Year: 2016


Non-Newtonian droplet dynamics commonly exist in microfluidic systems. We report simulations of viscoelastic (VE) droplets traveling in a planar capillary bifurcation channel. A numerical system combining phase field method, VE rheology and Stokes flow equations is built. As a generic microfluidic two-phase problem, we study how a non-Newtonian droplet that approaches a channel bifurcation will behave. We identify conditions for when a droplet will either split into two or be directed into one of the branches. In particular we study the importance of the non-Newtonian properties. Our results reveal two contradictory non-Newtonian mechanisms that can enhance splitting and non-splitting of droplet with respect to Newtonian droplet, depending on the size of droplet and capillary number.