Clogging in parallelized tapered microfluidic channels
Nearly all tubes and pores used to transport solids in fluids, such as arteries and filters, are subject to clogging. The length scales and geometries of these tubes are well defined. In spite of this knowledge, the collective clogging behavior of multiple tubes has not yet been connected to their shapes and sizes. We investigate the clogging behavior of ten parallel tubes, which we model with ten parallel tapered microchannels using poly(styrene) beads to induce clogging events. The clogging behavior depends on the channel geometry as well as the shear stress particles are subjected to. Although our microchannels model filters, our results can be applied to the clogging behavior of a broad range of applications such as the clogging in arteries, inkjets, or xylem in trees.