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Journal Articles Materials Year : 2021

Directional Water Wicking on a Metal Surface Patterned by Microchannels

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Abstract

This work focuses on the simulation and experimental study of directional wicking of water on a surface structured by open microchannels. Stainless steel was chosen as the material for the structure motivated by industrial applications as fuel cells. Inspired by nature and literature, we designed a fin type structure. Using Selective Laser Melting (SLM) the fin type structure was manufactured additively with a resolution down to about 30 μm. The geometry was manufactured with three different scalings and both the experiments and the simulation show that the efficiency of the water transport depends on dimensionless numbers such as Reynolds and Capillary numbers. Full 3D numerical simulations of the multiphase Navier-Stokes equations using Volume of Fluid (VOF) and Lattice-Boltzmann (LBM) methods reproduce qualitatively the experimental results and provide new insight into the details of dynamics at small space and time scales. The influence of the static contact angle on the directional wicking was also studied. The simulation enabled estimation of the contact angle threshold beyond which transport vanishes in addition to the optimal contact angle for transport.
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Dates and versions

hal-03769541 , version 1 (05-09-2022)

Licence

Attribution - CC BY 4.0

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Nima Abbaspour, Philippe Beltrame, Marie-Christine Néel, Volker Schulz. Directional Water Wicking on a Metal Surface Patterned by Microchannels. Materials, 2021, 14 (3), pp.490. ⟨10.3390/ma14030490⟩. ⟨hal-03769541⟩
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