An experimental investigation of water flow in a T-shaped channel with rectangular cross section (20 × 20 mm inlet ID and 20 × 40 mm outlet ID) has been conducted for a Reynolds number Re range of 56 to 422, based on inlet diameter. Dynamical conditions and the T-channel geometry of the current study are applicable to the microscale. This study supports a large body of numerical work, and resolution and the interrogation region are extended beyond previous experimental studies. Laser induced fluorescence (LIF) and particle imaging velocimetry (PIV) are used to characterize flow behaviors over the broad range of Re where realistic T-channels operate. Scalar structures previously unresolved in the literature are presented. Special attention is paid to the unsteady flow regimes that develop at moderate Re, which significantly impact mixing but are not yet well characterized or understood. An unsteady symmetric topology, which develops at higher Re and negatively impacts mixing, is presented, and mechanisms behind the wide range of mixing qualities predicted for this regime are explained. An optimal Re operating range is identified based on multiple experimental trials.

This content is only available via PDF.
You do not currently have access to this content.