Simulative Investigation of Different DLD Microsystem Designs with Increased Reynolds Numbers Using a Two-Way Coupled IBM-CFD/6-DOF Approach
Deterministic lateral displacement (DLD) microsystems are suitable for the size fractionation of particle suspensions in the size range of 0.1 to 10 µm. To be able to fractionate real particles beyond a laboratory scale, these systems have to be designed for higher throughputs. High flow resistances and increasing the clogging of the systems impose substantial challenges for industrial operation. Simulative parameter studies are suitable for improving the design of the systems; for example, the position and shape of the posts. A high-resolution, two-way coupled 6-DOF CFD-DEM approach was used to study the flow and particle behavior of different post shapes (circular and triangular) and post sizes at different Reynolds numbers. The results were compared with the classical first streamline width theory. It was shown that the streamline theory does not account for all effects responsible for the separation. Furthermore, a shift in the critical particle diameter to smaller values could be obtained when increasing the Reynolds number and also when using triangular posts with reduced post sizes compared to the post spacing. These findings can help to improve the efficiency of the systems as the post spacing could be extended, thus reducing the flow resistance and the probability of clogging.