• A new process chain for producing bulk metallic glass replication masters with micro- and nano-scale features

      Vella, P.C.; Dimov, S.S.; Brousseau, E.; Whiteside, Benjamin R. (2015)
      A novel process chain for serial production of polymer-based devices incorporating both micro- and nano-scale features is proposed. The process chain is enabled by the use of Zr-based bulk metallic glasses (BMG) to achieve the necessary level of compatibility and complementarity between its component technologies. It integrates two different technologies, namely laser ablation and focused ion beam (FIB) milling for micro-structuring and sub-micron patterning, respectively, thus to fabricate inserts incorporating different length scale functional features. Two alternative laser sources, namely nano-second (NS) and pico-second (PS) lasers, were considered as potential candidates for the first step in this master-making process chain. The capabilities of the component technologies together with some issues associated with their integration were studied. To validate the replication performance of the produced masters, a Zr-based BMG insert was used to produce a small batch of micro-fluidic devices by micro-injection moulding. Furthermore, an experimental study was also carried out to determine whether it would be possible by NS laser ablation to structure the Zr-based BMG workpieces with a high surface integrity whilst retaining the BMG's non-crystalline morphology. Collectively, it was demonstrated that the proposed process chain could be a viable fabrication route for mass production of polymer devices incorporating different length scale features.
    • Towards Lattice-Boltzmann modelling of unconfined gas mixing in anaerobic digestion

      Dapelo, Davide; Trunk, R.; Krause, M.J.; Bridgeman, John (2019-02-15)
      A novel Lattice-Boltzmann model to simulate gas mixing in anaerobic digestion is developed and described. For the first time, Euler–Lagrange multiphase, non-Newtonian and turbulence modelling are applied jontly with a novel hybrid boundary condition. The model is validated in a laboratory-scale framework and flow patterns are assessed through Particle Imaging Velocimetry (PIV) and innovative Positron-Emission Particle Tracking (PEPT). The model is shown to reproduce the experimental flow patterns with fidelity in both qualitative and quantitative terms. The model opens up a new approach to computational modelling of the complex multiphase flow in anaerobic digesters and offers specific advantages, such as computational efficiency, over an analogous Euler-Lagrange finite-volume computational fluid dynamics approach.