Evaluating constitutive scaling models for application to compressible microflows

Lynne O'Hare, Thomas Scanlon, David Emerson, Jason Reese

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We demonstrate here, for the first time, the constitutive scaling approach applied to simulate a fully compressible, non-isothermal micro gas flow within a mainstream computational physics framework. First, the physics underlying these new constitutive-relation scaling models for rarefied gas flows at the microscale, in particular, the Knudsen layer, is discussed. Results for Couette-type flows in micro-channels, including heat transfer effects due to rarefaction, are then reported and we show comparisons with both traditional Navier-Stokes-Fourier solutions and independent numerical studies. We discuss the limitations of the constitutive scaling process, such as the breakdown of the model as the Knudsen number increases and the influence of the wall interaction model on the numerical results. Advantages of the constitutive scaling technique are described, with particular reference to the practicality of using it for microscale engineering design.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1281-1292
Number of pages12
JournalInternational Journal of Heat and Mass Transfer
Issue number5-6
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2008


  • gas mems
  • knudsen layer
  • compressible flow
  • heat transfer

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