It is important to understand the operational aspects which affect the continuous fabrication of alginate gel fibers. These can be formed from a cross-linking reaction of an alginate precursor injected into a coaxial annular pipe flow with a calcium chloride solution. This is an example of an emerging solid interface that interacts with the flow in its neighborhood. We advance on earlier works by relaxing assumptions of a fixed spatial domain to explore and observe mechanisms controlling gel radius. We use two different models. The first one represents the gel layer as a capillary interface between two immiscible liquids and captures the effect of surface tension. A second model is introduced to treat the cross-linking chemical reaction and its effect on the viscosity as the alginate gel forms. Through numerical simulations and analytical approximations of the downstream behavior, we determine the shape of the fiber in the pipe flow and its impact on the flow velocity as well as on the total production of gel.
Modeling Gel Fiber Formation in an Emerging Coaxial Flow From a Nozzle
Contributed by the Fluids Engineering Division of ASME for publication in the JOURNAL OF FLUIDS ENGINEERING. Manuscript received September 5, 2017; final manuscript received July 10, 2018; published online August 16, 2018. Assoc. Editor: Oleg Schilling.
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Williams, H., McPhail, M., Mondal, S., and Münch, A. (August 16, 2018). "Modeling Gel Fiber Formation in an Emerging Coaxial Flow From a Nozzle." ASME. J. Fluids Eng. January 2019; 141(1): 011107. https://doi.org/10.1115/1.4040833
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