The flow characteristics of a network of parallel microchannels (hydraulic diameter: 110 μm) were investigated both experimentally and numerically in the present work. The cross-section of the micro-channels was triangular for further application to micro heat pipes. Measurements of the pressure drop across the microchannels network showed a dramatic increase of the pressure losses and a departure from the law of fully developed flow as soon as the Reynolds number of the flow exceeded about 10. Numerical computations of the flow were performed by using the classical laws of hydrodynamics in order to explain this surprizing result. They showed a good agreement with the experimental results, which suggests that there are no size effects at the length scale used in the experiments. Moreover, the mechanisms responsible of the large pressure drop in the high-range of Reynolds number are identified by the numerical analysis. They correspond to extra head losses due to separation in several parts of the test cell.

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