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

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


  • Himani Sharma
  • Ratan Bharat Ahuja
  • Suhas Joshi
  • Amit Agrawal

Colleges, School and Institutes

External organisations

  • Indian Institute of Technology
  • University of Notre Dame


Superhydrophobic textured surfaces reduce hydrodynamic drag in pressure-driven laminar flows in microchannels. 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 superhydrophobic microchannels. Thus, we have investigated the influence of topologically different rough surfaces on friction reduction of shear-thinning liquids in microchannels. 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 was noticed at a constant Carreau number irrespective of the microchannel constriction ratio, the minima has 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 microchannels. The flow enhancement (the flow rate with superhydrophobic 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 microchannels when employing non-Newtonian liquids.


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


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