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benchmark, computational fluid dynamics, microchannel, multiphase flow, T-Junction, Taylor slug, volume-of-fluid


Computational fluid dynamics (CFD) is an important tool for development of microfluidic systems based on gas-liquid two-phase flow. The formation of Taylor slugs at microchannel T-junctions has been studied both experimentally and numerically, however discrepancies still exist because of difficulties in correctly representing experimental conditions and uncertainties in the physics controlling slug flow, such as contact line and velocity slip. In this paper detailed methods and results are described for the study of Santos and Kawaji [1] on the comparison of experimental results and numerical modeling. The system studied consisted of a rectangular microchannel T-junction nominally 100μm in hydraulic diameter, used to generate Taylor slugs from air-water perpendicular flow. The effect of flow rates on parameters such as slug length, velocity slip, void fraction and two-phase frictional pressure drop were studied. Numerical simulation was performed using FLUENT volume-of-fluid (VOF) model. It is proposed in this paper that this microfluidic problem be taken up by researchers in the field as a benchmark case to test other numeric codes in comparison to FLUENT on the prediction of micro-scale multiphase flow, and also to model in more detail the experimental system described to obtain greater accuracy in prediction of microfluidic slug formation.


5 August 2016: At the time of publication, Sheridan College author Rafael M. Santos was associated with the Katholieke Universiteit Leuven in Belgium.


Faculty of Applied Science & Technology


School of Chemical and Environmental Sciences


Central European Journal of Engineering



Peer Reviewed/Refereed Publication


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Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.

Original Publication Citation

Santos, R. M., & Kawaji, M. (2011). Gas-liquid Slug Formation at a Rectangular Microchannel T-junction: A CFD Benchmark Case. Central European Journal of Engineering, 1(4), 341-360. doi:10.2478/s13531-011-0038-1