Analytical and Numerical Investigation of Non-Newtonian Droplet Breakup in Asymmetric T-junction

Document Type : Regular Article


1 School of Mechanical Engineering, Iran University of Science and Technology, Tehran, Iran

2 Faculty of Imam Ali, South Khorasan Branch, Technical and Vocational University (TVU), Tabas, Iran



In this paper, an analytical investigation and 3D numerical simulation are presented for the breakup of floating non-Newtonian droplets in a non-Newtonian fluid. The considered geometry is a T-junction with unequal-width branches that can generate droplets with un-equal size. There is a very good agreement between the analytical solution and numerical simulation results obtained in this research. Various quantities such as branches flow rate ratio, branches velocity ratio, droplet’s length in each branch, the whole length of the droplet, vorticity and pressure have been investigated during the breakup process in this study. The results showed that the branches flow rate ratio and the branches velocity ratio were constant during the breakup process. It was also observed that the length of the droplet in each of the branches and the whole length of the droplet increased linearly during the breakup process. Also, the vorticity has its maximum at the breakup moment. ‎‎


Ahmadi, F., K. Samlali, P. Q. N. Vo and S. C. C. Shih (2019). An integrated droplet-digital microfluidic system for on-demand droplet creation, mixing, incubation, and sorting. Lab on a Chip 19, 524-535.##
Amani, E., A. Ahmadpour and M. Tohidi (2019). A numerical study of the rise of a Taylor bubble through a sudden/gradual expansion in Newtonian and shear-thinning liquids. International Journal of Mechanical Sciences.##
Bedram, A., A. E. Darabi, A. Moosavi and S. Kazemzade (2015a). Numerical Investigation of an Efficient Method (T-Junction With Valve) for Producing Unequal-Sized Droplets in Micro- and Nano-Fluidic Systems. Journal of Fluids Engineering 137, 031202.##
Bedram, A. and A. Moosavi (2011). Droplet breakup in an asymmetric microfluidic T junction. Eur. Phys. J. E 34, 78.##
Bedram, A. and A. Moosavi (2013). Breakup of Droplets in Micro and Nanofluidic T-Junctions. Journal of Applied Fluid Mechanics 6(1), 81-86.##
Bedram, A., A. Moosavi and S. Kazemzade Hannani (2015b). Analytical relations for long-droplet breakup in asymmetric T junctions. Physical Review E 91, 053012.##
Bretherton, F. P. (1961). The motion of long bubbles in tubes. J.Fluid Mech. 166, 10.##
Chiarello, E., A. Gupta, G. Mistura, M. Sbragaglia and M. Pierno (2017). Droplet breakup driven by shear thinning solutions in a microfluidic T-junction. Phys. Rev. Fluids 2, 123602.##
Cui, W., G. Yesiloz, and C.L. Ren, (2020). Numerical Analysis on Droplet Mixing Induced by Microwave Heating: Decoupling of Influencing Physical Properties. Chemical Engineering Science.##
Dai, C., S. Fang, Y. Wu, X. Wu, M. Zhao, C. Zou, H. Li, H. Zhou and K. Zhang (2017). Experimental study of bubble breakup process in non-Newtonian fluid in 3-D pore-throat microchannels. Colloids and Surfaces A.##
Deshpande, S. and C. Dekker (2018). On-chip microfluidic production of cell-sized liposomes. Nature protocols 13, 5.##
Feng, J. Q. (2017). A Computational Study of High-Speed Microdroplet Impact onto a Smooth Solid Surface. Journal of Applied Fluid Mechanics 10, 1.##
Fu, T., Y. Ma and H. Z. Li (2014). Hydrodynamic Feedback on Bubble Breakup at a T-junction Within an Asymmetric Loop. AIChE Journal 60, 5.##
Hu, X. and T. Cubaud (2018).Viscous Wave Breaking and Ligament Formation in Microfluidic Systems. Physical Review Letters 121, 044502.##
Jejurkar, S. Y., G. Yadav and D. P. Mishra (2017). Visualizations of sheet breakup of non-Newtonian gels loaded with nanoparticles. International Journal of Multiphase Flow.##
Khoo, B. L., G. Grenci, Y. B. Lim, S. C. Lee, J. Han and C. T. Lim (2018). Expansion of patient-derived circulating tumor cells from liquid biopsies using a CTC microfluidic culture device. Nature protocols 13, 34-58.##
KianiMoqadam, A., A. Bedram and M. H. Hamedi (2018). A Novel Method (T-Junction with a Tilted Slat) for Controlling Breakup Volume Ratio of Droplets in Micro and Nanofluidic T-Junctions. Journal of Applied Fluid Mechanics 11(1), 1255-1265.##
Leshansky, A. M. and L. M. Pismen (2009). Breakup of drops in a microfluidic T-junction. Physics of Fluids 21, 023303.##
Link, D. R., S. L. Anna, D. A. Weitz and H. A. Stone (2004). Geometrically Mediated Breakup of Drops in Microfluidic Devices. Phys. Rev. Lett.92, 054503.##
Liu, Y., J. Yue, S. Zhao, C. Yao and G. Chen (2018). Bubble splitting under gas-liquid-liquid three-phase flow in a double T-junction microchannel. AIChE Journal 64, 1.##
Maio, L. D. and F. Dunlop (2018). Sessile Drop on Oscillating Incline. Journal of Applied Fluid Mechanics 11, 6.##
Mondal, B. and D. Chatterjee (2016). Numerical Investigation of the Water Droplet Transport in a PEM Fuel Cell with Serpentine Flow Channel. Journal of Applied Fluid Mechanics 9, 3.##
Mora, A. E. M., A. L. F. L. Silva and S. M. M. L. Silva (2018). Numerical study of the dynamics of a droplet in a T-junction microchannel using OpenFOAM. Chemical Engineering Science.##
Muzychka, Y. S. and J. Edge (2008). Laminar non-Newtonian Fluid Flow in Noncircular Ducts and Microchannels. Journal of Fluids Engineering 130, 111201.##
Rostami, B. and G. L. Morini (2020). Generation of Newtonian droplets in Newtonian and non-Newtonian carrier flows in micro T-junctions under opposed-flow configuration. Journal of Non-Newtonian Fluid Mechanics 281, 104297.##
Rostami, B. and G. L. Morini (2018). Generation of Newtonian and non-Newtonian droplets in silicone oil flow by means of a micro cross-junction. International Journal of Multiphase Flow.##
Rahman, M. M., W. Lee, A. Iyer and S. J. Williams (2019). Viscous resistance in drop coalescence. Phys. Fluids 31, 012104.##
Ruggeri, F. S., J. Charmet, T. Kartanas, Q. Peter, S. Chia, J. Habchi, C. M. Dobson, M. Vendruscolo and T. P. J. Knowles (2018). Microfluidic deposition for resolving single molecule protein architecture and heterogeneity. Nature Communications 9, 3890.##
Sontti, S. G. and A. Atta (2017). CFD analysis of microfluidic droplet formation in non–Newtonian liquid. Chemical Engineering Journal.##
Wang, X., C. Zhu, T. Fu, T. Qiu and Y. Ma (2017). Critical condition for bubble breakup in a microfluidic flow-focusing junction. Chemical Engineering Science 164, 178–187.##
Wang, X., C. Zhu, T. Fu, and Y. Ma (2014). Bubble breakup with permanent obstruction in an asymmetric microfluidic T-junction. AIChE Journal 61, Issue 3, 1081-1091.##
White, F. M., (2011). Fluid mechanics. 7th edition. Mcgraw-Hill. (Eq. 4.32).##
Xiong, Q., C. Y. Lim, J. Ren, J. Zhou, K. Pu, M. B. Chan-Park, H. Mao, Y. C. Lam and H. Duan, (2018). Magnetic nanochain integrated microfluidic biochips. Nature Communications 9, 1743.##
Yang, S. H., J. Parka, J. R. Youn and Y. S. Song (2018). Programmable microfluidic logic device fabricated with shape memory polymer. Lab on a Chip.##
Yadavali, S., H. H. Jeong, D. Lee and D. Issadore (2018). Silicon and glass very large scale microfluidic droplet integration for tera scale generation of polymer microparticles. Nature Communications 9, 1222.##
Zhao, M., M. Cao, Y. Hu, Q. Yang, Y. Wu, Z. Chu, X. Hu and C. Dai (2020). Investigating breakup behaviors of the non-Newtonian fluid: A case study of oil droplet using 3-D pore throat structured microchannels. Colloids and Surfaces A: Physicochemical and Engineering Aspects 587, 124330.##
Volume 15, Issue 2 - Serial Number 63
March and April 2022
Pages 491-503
  • Received: 15 March 2021
  • Revised: 08 September 2021
  • Accepted: 20 October 2021
  • First Publish Date: 02 February 2022