Three-dimensional lattice Boltzmann method based simulations of a microduct have been undertaken in this paper. The objective is to understand the different physical phenomena occurring at these small scales and to investigate when the flow can be treated as two-dimensional. Towards this end, the Knudsen number and aspect ratio (depth to width ratio) are varied for a fixed pressure ratio. The pressure in the microduct is non-linear with the non-linearity in pressure reducing with an increase in Knudsen number. The pressure and velocity behaves somewhat similar to two-dimensional microchannels even when the aspect ratio is unity. The slip velocity at the impenetrable wall has two components: along and perpendicular to the flow. Our results show that the streamwise velocity near the centerline is relatively invariant along the depth for aspect ratio more than three, suggesting that the microduct can be modeled as a two-dimensional microchannel. However, the velocity component along the depth is never identically zero, implying that the flow is not truly two-dimensional. A curious change in vector direction in a plane normal to the flow direction is observed around aspect ratio of four. These first set of three-dimensional results are significant because they will help in theoretical development and flow modeling at micro scales.

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