Pressure losses in microchannels with bends

S. Y.K. Lee, M. Wong, Y. Zohar

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review

14 Scopus citations


Bends in fluidic systems are necessary features due to design or technology constraints. Bends or curves in a duct always induce flow separation at the walls, which results in additional pressure loss. In this work, this phenomenon is investigated on a microscale. A set of microchannels, 20μm×1.1μm×5810μm in dimensions, with a 90°-bend at the channel center has been fabricated using standard micromachining techniques. Three bend configurations have been tested: miter, curved, and double-turn. All the microchannels were integrated with pressure microsensors. Argon gas was passed through the microdevices under inlet pressure up to 50 psi, and the mass flow rate was measured for all the devices as a function of the pressure drop. The flow rate through the channel with the miter bend, a single sharp turn at a right angle, was found to be the lowest. Pressure distributions along this microdevice were recorded, showing a pressure jump across the miter bend. The mass flow rate and pressure measurements indicate the existence of flow separation in the microchannels.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Number of pages4
StatePublished - 2001
Event14th IEEE International Conference on Micro Electro Mechanical Systems (MEMS 2001) - Interlaken, Switzerland
Duration: Jan 21 2001Jan 25 2001


Other14th IEEE International Conference on Micro Electro Mechanical Systems (MEMS 2001)

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Control and Systems Engineering
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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