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Microscale Implementation and Image Analysis of Fluid Processes

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2016 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


New Orleans, Louisiana

Publication Date

June 26, 2016

Start Date

June 26, 2016

End Date

August 28, 2016





Conference Session

Latest Trends and Implementations in Manufacturing Education

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Paper Authors


Michael G. Mauk Drexel University

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Michael Mauk is Assistant Professor in Drexel University's Engineering Technology program.

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Richard Chiou Drexel University

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Dr. Richard Chiou is Associate Professor within the Engineering Technology Department at Drexel University, Philadelphia, USA. He received his Ph.D. degree in the G.W. Woodruff School of Mechanical Engineering at Georgia Institute of Technology. His educational background is in manufacturing with an emphasis on mechatronics. In addition to his many years of industrial experience, he has taught many different engineering and technology courses at undergraduate and graduate levels. His tremendous research experience in manufacturing includes environmentally conscious manufacturing, Internet based robotics, and Web based quality. In the past years, he has been involved in sustainable manufacturing for maximizing energy and material recovery while minimizing environmental impact.

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Dharma Varapula Drexel University

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We describe approaches that combine CAD, prototyping, microfluidics, and image analysis to study and optimize microscale fluid-based processes of wide interest in manufacturing and the chemical processing industries, including heat transfer, filtration, mixing, and chemical reactions. Miniaturized fluid systems are implemented on palm-sized, clear plastic ‘chips’ that host a network of conduits, chambers, filters, manifolds, and flow control devices. Fluids are delivered to the chip and actuated by programmable syringe pumps. Using colored and fluorescent dyes, images and videos to study flow characteristics and mixing can be captured, processed, and analyzed with low-cost CCD cameras and commonly available image processing software (ImageJ or MATLAB®). Similarly, heats of mixing, heats of reaction, and convective, conductive, and radiative heat transfer can be analyzed using thermal image infrared (8-12 microns) cameras. Student projects include CAD of microfluidic chips, fabrication of chips using a CO2 laser cutter, 3D-printer, or CNC mill; experimental setup on a desktop with programmable syringe pumps, sensors, and CCD and thermal infrared camera, experimentation, and analysis of images. We study concurrent and countercurrent heat exchangers, various active and passive mixers, heats of mixing between alcohols and aqueous salt solutions, and acid-base neutralization reactions. These laboratory projects provide instructive and accessible hands-on experimentation, at levels ranging from intuitive and visual to more analytical treatments, in subject areas of fluid mechanics, heat transfer, reaction engineering, image processing and machine vision, engineering modeling, and rapid prototyping. We emphasize skills and concepts gained for their relevancy to energy efficiency, sustainability, and green manufacturing.

Mauk, M. G., & Chiou, R., & Varapula, D. (2016, June), Microscale Implementation and Image Analysis of Fluid Processes Paper presented at 2016 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, New Orleans, Louisiana. 10.18260/p.25716

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