The presence of free surface boundaries of complex liquids in microscale occur in many different situations, such as continuous coating process of a substrate, fluid displacement flows inside small passages and porous materials, flow of emulsions and complex dispersions and two-phase flows in microfluidics devices. That is the focus of our research.
Research on these aspects are challenging. The complex structure of the liquid may lead to non-linear behavior of the fluid when sheared or extended. Indeed, they can depart substantially from Newtonian behavior at the strain rates they suffer in these small-scale flows. The presence of the free boundaries (liquid/air and liquid/deformable solid interfaces) leads to strong non-linearities on the flow. The geometry of the flows is only a fraction of a millimeter (microscale) and capillary effects are usually very important in all the situations.
The different research projects are focused in four application areas: coating processes, microfluidics/microencapsulation, flow of complex liquids through porous media and emulsion formation and stability. We study these problems by both theory/numerical simulation and flow visualization.