Hydrodynamic drag reduction of shear-thinning liquids in superhydrophobic textured microchannels

Anvesh Gaddam, Himani Sharma, Ratan Bharat Ahuja, Stefan Dimov, Suhas Joshi, Amit Agrawal

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)
85 Downloads (Pure)


Super-hydrophobic textured surfaces reduce hydrodynamic drag in pressure-driven laminar flows in micro-channels. However, despite the wide usage of non-Newtonian liquids in microfluidic devices, the flow behaviour of such liquids was rarely examined so far in the context of friction reduction in textured super-hydrophobic micro-channels. Thus, we have investigated the influence of topologically different rough surfaces on friction reduction of shear-thinning liquids in micro-channels. First, the friction factor ratio (a ratio of friction factor on a textured surface to a plain surface) on generic surface textures, such as posts, holes, longitudinal and transverse ribs, was estimated numerically over a range of Carreau number as a function of microchannel constriction ratio, gas fraction and power-law exponent. Resembling the flow behaviour of Newtonian liquids, the longitudinal ribs and posts have exhibited significantly less flow friction than the transverse ribs and holes while the friction factor ratios of all textures has exhibited non-monotonic variation with the Carreau number. While the minima of the friction factor ratio were noticed at a constant Carreau number irrespective of the microchannel constriction ratio, the minima have shifted to a higher Carreau number with an increase in the power-law index and gas fraction. Experiments were also conducted with aqueous Xanthan Gum liquids in micro-channels. The flow enhancement (the flow rate with super-hydrophobic textures with respect to a smooth surface) exhibited a non-monotonic behaviour and attenuated with an increase in power-law index tantamount to simulations. The results will serve as a guide to design frictionless micro-channels when employing non-Newtonian liquids.

Original languageEnglish
Article number73
Number of pages19
JournalMicrofluidics and Nanofluidics
Issue number9
Early online date10 Aug 2021
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2021

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The research work is conducted within the framework of the UKIERI-DST programme on “Surface functionalisation for food, packaging, and healthcare applications” and the European Commission H2020 project “High-impact injection moulding platform for mass-production of 3D and/or large micro- structured surfaces with antimicrobial, self-cleaning, anti-scratch, anti-squeak and aesthetic functionalities” (HIMALAIA).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021, The Author(s).


  • Carreau
  • Friction factor
  • Femtosecond laser
  • Shear-thinning
  • Super-hydrophobic
  • Xanthan Gum

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Materials Chemistry


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