Korea-Australia Rheology Journal

, Volume 31, Issue 4, pp 189–194 | Cite as

Vortex dynamics at the junction of Y-shaped microchannels in dilute polymer solutions

  • Yong-Min Park
  • Sun Ok Hong
  • Pyung Cheon LeeEmail author
  • Ju Min Kim


Understanding the vortex dynamics in polymer solutions is one of keys for the flow control in a wide range of polymer-related material processing applications. Vortex is generated due to the viscoelasticity of polymer solution, even if no vortex formation is expected under Newtonian flow conditions. In addition, the chaotic vortices generated in viscoelastic fluids have been recently exploited to mix different fluid streams in microfluidic devices. Herein, we investigated the vortex dynamics in dilute polyethylene oxide) solutions at the junction region of Y-shaped microchannels, which have been frequently used to mix two fluid streams. We report the formation of two types of vortices: A vortex at the stagnation point of the junction (center) and a lip vortex at the upstream of the sharp corner. Fluorescent microscopy revealed that the vortex dynamics was significantly affected by the angle between the two upstream channels, polymer concentration, and flow rate. We expect that this work will be useful for understanding the viscoelastic flow in microchannels and for the future design of microfluidic devices such as microfluidic mixers.


viscoelastic fluid polymer solution vortex dynamics microfluidic channel 


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This research was supported by the Ajou University Research Fund.


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Copyright information

© The Korean Society of Rheology and Springer 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Yong-Min Park
    • 1
  • Sun Ok Hong
    • 1
  • Pyung Cheon Lee
    • 2
    • 3
    Email author
  • Ju Min Kim
    • 1
    • 4
  1. 1.Department of Energy Systems ResearchAjou UniversitySuwonRepublic of Korea
  2. 2.Department of Molecular Science and TechnologyAjou UniversitySuwonRepublic of Korea
  3. 3.Department of Applied Chemistry and Biological EngineeringAjou UniversitySuwonRepublic of Korea
  4. 4.Department of Chemical EngineeringAjou UniversitySuwonRepublic of Korea

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