June 23, 2013
June 23, 2013
June 26, 2013
23.1278.1 - 23.1278.17
Undergraduate Research Projects using Microfluidic DevicesIn order for students to enhance their understanding of engineering concepts, hands-onexperience proves essential. Especially when the topic of interest involves heat transfer, fluiddynamics or both, it becomes very difficult for students to obtain a hands-on experience due tothe nature of the experimental apparatus. Incorporating the design component in undergraduateengineering education has been an immediate and pressing concern for educators, professionalsocieties, industrial employers and agencies concerned with national productivity andcompetitiveness. Student-led projects as required components of course curriculum addtremendous value to science and engineering education. The design experience develops thestudents’ lifelong learning skills, self-evaluations, self-discovery, and peer instruction in thedesign’s creation, critique, and justification. The experience, which would be difficult tocomplete individually, gives the students the accomplishment that is often lacking in manyengineering courses, using traditional teaching approaches, motivating student learning anddeveloping the industrial required skills required. Only project work gives them the opportunityto become a problem solver or an innovator. Hence, project work is a very important constituentof our engineering curriculum. Project work provides several opportunities to students to learnseveral aspects of importance to an engineer that cannot be taught in a class or laboratory.However, designing and prototyping real industrial sub-systems or components can become verycostly, and also may require additional laboratory space. Some of these issues can be addressedby the current trend in engineering for miniaturization and micro-scale systems. These systemscan be readily designed and prototyped by students.This paper discusses the development and implementation of two student projects usingmicrofluidic devices, involving a number of junior and senior undergraduate students at ourengineering technology program. The goal of the design projects is to explore and enhancestudents understanding of the fundamental engineering principles, and hands-on demonstrationof system prototyping. Here we report two micro-fluidic projects which explore the principles ofheat transfer as well as mixing phenomena with potentially obtaining a turbulent flow in amicrofluidic device.The first project incorporates a micro-heat exchanger, mimicking a plate and tube heatexchanger, using two micro-pumps for the two flows. Students explored the heat transferphenomena and the temperature dependence over time. The data were acquired and monitoredusing temperature and pressure digital sensors and a LabVIEW VI interface. This project wasused as experimental set-up for further enhancement of laboratory activities for ET coursesrelated to heat transfer, measurement and instrumentation and fluid mechanics.The second project one is a piezo-microfluidic micro-mixing device, with the primary mixerbeing a pump, which will generate adequate mixing in microfluidic channels. The piezoelectriceffect is useful in allowing generation of high frequency resonance, which results in thecontraction and expansion of the piezoelectric material, causing a bending stress in the ceramicmaterial. The bending stress causes turbulence and promotes mixing in the designed chip.
Ciobanescu Husanu, I. N., & Belu, R. G., & Kirby, P. L., & Gillander, J. B. (2013, June), Undergraduate Research Projects using Microfluidic Devices Paper presented at 2013 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Atlanta, Georgia. 10.18260/1-2--22663
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