Rheo-NMR studies of viscoelastic secondary flows in ducts of non-circular cross-section




Schroeder, Christian Berthold Karl

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University of Guelph


The existence of hydrodynamically developed, laminar Viscoelastic Secondary Flows (VSFs) of non-Newtonian fluids in straight ducts of non-circular cross-section was proposed in the 1950's. VSFs have since been observed sporadically, and only once with a velocimetric technique. Using axial and transverse full flow-field velocity-position raster maps made with Rheological Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (Rheo-NMR), Newtonian and non-Newtonian fluid flows were quantified in Hagen-Poiseuille and Power Law contexts, over more than two orders of magnitude of flow rate, in ducts of circle, square, triangle, and pentagon cross-section. VSF was reliably and repeatedly observed to occur at between one part in 130 and one part in 600 of the primary axial flow velocity. Velocity measurements ranged from <10 µm/s to approximately 30 cm/s, suggesting a velocity dynamic range >3E4 without optimization. To obtain VSF flow direction information, a novel flow directional phantom was developed and characterized. Aqueous solutions of Polyethylene Oxide (PEO), Viscarin GP-109NF, Viscarin GP-209NF (V209), Hyaluronan (HA) in a Phosphate-Buffered Saline-like solvent, and an aqueous Polyethylene Glycol/PEO-based Boger fluid were investigated. Axial data was corroborated with related data gathered by an independent method. Basic simulations corroborated the VSF observations. Duct hydraulic diameters (>= 1.6 mm) approached the micro-channel regime. VSF detections in HA --- synovial fluid's principal component --- and V209 were novel, as were observations of some artifacts which were subsequently characterized and corrected. The detection of VSF in HA represents the first experimental evidence suggesting that its second normal stress (N_2) is comparable to that of better-characterized fluids. In the first application of a new VSF-based method, a particular Boger fluid's constant viscosity and, in the square duct, its lack of VSF were used with established criteria to suggest that the fluid's N_2 approached zero. The development of a rudimentary, but versatile and inexpensive home-built velocimetric spectrometer is detailed, as are several new components. An exhaustive VSF literature review is included. The remarkable transverse velocimetric ability of Rheo-NMR in both optically opaque and transparent system is highlighted, suggesting that perhaps the technique might represent, in both micro-channels and conventional ducts, the gold-standard in flow velocimetry.



Rheo-NMR, PGSE, MRI, Flow Velocimetry, Viscoelastic, Secondary Flow, Non-Circular Duct, Square Duct, Triangle Duct, Pentagon Duct, Pipe Flow, PEO, Hyaluronan, Carrageenan, Viscarin, Cross-Talk Artifact, Newtonian Fluid, Non-Newtonian Fluid, Boger Fluid, Power Law, Micro-channel, Synovial Fluid, Imaging Spectrometer, Normal Stress Difference, Full Flow Field, Fluid Flow, Flow Direction Phantom