2018 Volume 11 Issue 3 Pages 244-254
This paper presents two optimized designs of a commonly-used fluid distribution manifold having one entrance and six exits. Numerical simulations were carried out to optimize the dimensions and mechanisms of these proposed designs for the sake of enhancing the uniformity of fluid distribution amongst the exits and reducing the formation of dead zones inside the manifold cavities. Particularly, to make the fluid distribution amongst exits more uniform, this study explored the relationship between entrance diameter and exit diameter. Furthermore, in order to reduce dead zone formations inside the manifold whilst still maintaining uniform fluid distribution, a conical cavity was designed. After that, blockers were designed to replace some exits, permitting a variable number of fluid distribution manifold exits, depending on the specific application. Both designs were found to be able to improve flow uniformity and dead zone reduction compared to the original commonly-used fluid distribution manifold, with the central-feeding distributor performing slightly better than the lateral-feeding distributor overall. From the perspective of manufacturing, each of these two fluid manifolds was made of two pieces with glue and rubber O ring used respectively as the bond between separate pieces. Preliminary experiments with these devices suggest similar results to those from the numerical studies. Based on real application requirements and limitations, the different fluid manifold designs with tunable dimensions can be utilized in various mechanical or biochemical devices to distribute fluid equally amongst several parallel components.
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