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Microfluidic Drop Formation with Polymer Plastics

Peng, Shu-Che (2012) Microfluidic Drop Formation with Polymer Plastics. Master's Thesis, University of Pittsburgh. (Unpublished)

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The aim of this study is to develop a microfluidic platform for making particles from molten polymers. This thesis describes the process of formation of droplets and bubbles in microfluidic flow-focusing geometries. High viscosity and low interfacial tension of molten polymers makes it difficult to break a continuous fluid stream into drops. Furthermore, the eventual requirements that the polymers can only flow when heated far above room temperature require a new approach to fluid handling.
This thesis describes the development of a platform for molten polymer microfluidics based on a pressure-driven flow of polymer into micro-channels etched out of metal foils. This platform is developed for room temperature operation to test whether undiluted polymer melts can be emulsified in a controlled fashion in a microfluidic device. We report the results of a comparative study of microfluidic emulsification (i.e. drop or bubble formation) with different viscosities polymer liquids. At room temperature, depending on the properties of the polymer fluids and the flow rate, emulsification occurred in the dripping and jetting regions. We developed a simple circuit model to describe the observed dependence of the size of bubbles on the supplied pressure. The bubble shape, size, velocity, frequency were well investigated under various experimental conditions.
This study demonstrates the possibility of polymer drop formation in the room temperature device that can be used to further research using polymers need high temperature to be melted.


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Item Type: University of Pittsburgh ETD
Status: Unpublished
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
ETD Committee:
TitleMemberEmail AddressPitt UsernameORCID
Committee ChairVelankar, SachinVELANKAR@pitt.eduVELANKAR
Committee MemberMcCarthy, Josephmccarthy@engr.pitt.eduJJMCC
Committee MemberEnick , Robertrme@pitt.eduRME
Thesis AdvisorVelankar, SachinVELANKAR@pitt.eduVELANKAR
Date: 26 September 2012
Date Type: Publication
Defense Date: 1 June 2012
Approval Date: 26 September 2012
Submission Date: 20 June 2012
Access Restriction: No restriction; Release the ETD for access worldwide immediately.
Number of Pages: 101
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: Swanson School of Engineering > Chemical Engineering
Degree: MS - Master of Science
Thesis Type: Master's Thesis
Refereed: Yes
Uncontrolled Keywords: Microfluidic,Polymer,Capillary Number, surface tension
Date Deposited: 26 Sep 2012 13:55
Last Modified: 15 Nov 2016 13:59

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