Electro-osmotic flow of couple stress fluids in a micro-channel propagated by peristalsis
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A mathematical model is developed for electro-osmotic peristaltic pumping of a non-Newtonian liquid in a deformable micro-channel. Stokes' couple stress fluid model is employed to represent realistic working liquids. The Poisson-Boltzmann equation for electric potential distribution is implemented owing to the presence of an electrical double layer (EDL) in the micro-channel. Using long wavelength, lubrication theory and Debye-Huckel approximations, the linearized transformed dimensionless boundary value problem is solved analytically. The influence of electro-osmotic parameter (inversely proportional to Debye length), maximum electro-osmotic velocity (a function of external applied electrical field) and couple stress parameter on axial velocity, volumetric flow rate, pressure gradient, local wall shear stress and stream function distributions is evaluated in detail with the aid of graphs. The Newtonian fluid case is retrieved as a special case with vanishing couple stress effects. With increasing the couple stress parameter there is a significant increase in the axial pressure gradient whereas the core axial velocity is reduced. An increase in the electro-osmotic parameter both induces flow acceleration in the core region (around the channel centreline) and it also enhances the axial pressure gradient substantially. The study is relevant in the simulation of novel smart bio-inspired space pumps, chromatography and medical micro-scale devices.