The general design rules indicate that when identical macroscale pumps (each with a maximum flowrate Qm, and maximum pressure drop ΔPmax) are combined in series the maximum flowrate becomes Qm, but the maximum pressure is 2ΔPmax, while when combined in parallel the maximum flowrate is 2Qm, but the maximum pressure is ΔPmax. In this paper, we test whether these design rules apply to microscale valveless micropumps using highly resolved CFD calculations. The variation of flow with pump pressure-drop was studied by varying the resistance of an external circuit. The analysis confirms that the design rules for macroscale pumps are applicable to microscale pumps. The study has also enabled the analysis of the influence of different forcing strategies on the pump performance.
- CFD, microfluidics, micropump, microsystem design, multichamber, numerical analysis, valveless