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Analysis and testing of a contraction-and-expansion micromixer for micromilled microfluidics

In this paper, numerical analysis and experimental investigation of a micromixer, which was specifically designed for microfluidic devices fabricated by micromilling, is presented. The mixer is composed of series of contractions and expansions in zigzag arrangement along a mixing channel. Mixers, fabricated by micromilling on polymethylmethacrylate (PMMA), were tested with %0.1 Ponceau 4R red food dye solution and distilled water. According to experiment results, over 70% mixing efficiency could be obtained for the flows with Reynolds number (Re) greater than 40. It was also numerically shown that by increasing the number of successive contractions and expansions, it could be possible to achieve over 80% mixing efficiency when Re = 55 for the species with diffusion coefficient of 5 x 10(-9) m(2)/s. Although the micromixer was specifically designed for micromilling, it is expected that the mixer can be useful in any microfluidic device fabricated by any other technique.