Inertial migration has emerged as an efficient tool for manipulating both biological and engineered particles that commonly exist with non-spherical shapes in microfluidic devices. There have been numerous studies on the inertial migration of spherical particles, whereas the non-spherical particles are still largely unexplored. Here, we conduct three-dimensional direct numerical simulations to study the inertial migration of rigid cylindrical particles in rectangular microchannels with different width/height ratios under the channel Reynolds numbers (Re) varying from 50 to 400. Cylindrical particles with different length/diameter ratios and blockage ratios are also concerned. Distributions of surface force with the change of rotation angle show that surface stresses acting on the particle end near the wall are the major contributors to the particle rotation. We obtain lift forces experienced by cylindrical particles at different lateral positions on cross sections of two types of microchannels at various Re. It is found that there are always four stable equilibrium positions on the cross section of a square channel, while the stable positions are two or four in a rectangular channel, depending on Re. By comparing the equilibrium positions of cylindrical particles and spherical particles, we demonstrate that the equivalent diameter of cylindrical particles monotonously increases with Re. Our work indicates the influence of a non-spherical shape on the inertial migration and can be useful for the precise manipulation of non-spherical particles. Published by AIP Publishing.
This work was supported financially by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (NSFC) (Grant Nos. 11572334, 11402274, and 11772343), the CAS Strategic Priority Research Program (No. XDB22040403), and the CAS Key Research Program of Frontier Sciences (No. QYZDB-SSW-JSC036).