Transport in treelike networks has received wide attention in natural systems, oil recovery, microelectronic cooling systems, and textiles. Existing studies are focused on transport behaviors under a constant potential difference (including pressure, temperature, and voltage) in a steady state [B. Yu and B. Li, Phys. Rev. E 73, 066302 (2006)PLEEE81063-651X10.1103/PhysRevE.73.066302; J. Chen, B. Yu, P. Xu, and Y. Li, Phys. Rev. E 75, 056301 (2007)PLEEE81063-651X10. 1103/PhysRevE.75.056301]. However, dynamic (time-dependent) transport in such systems has rarely been concerned. In this work, we theoretically investigate the dynamics of capillary flow in treelike networks and design the distribution of radius and length of local branches for the fastest capillary flow. It is demonstrated that capillary flow in the optimized tree networks is faster than in traditional parallel tube nets under fixed constraints. As well, the flow time of the liquid is found to increase approximately linearly with penetration distance, which differs from Washburn's classic description that flow time increases as the square of penetration distance in a uniform tube. © 2014 American Physical Society.
|Journal||Physical Review E - Statistical, Nonlinear, and Soft Matter Physics|
|Publication status||Published - 12 May 2014|
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Statistical and Nonlinear Physics
- Statistics and Probability
- Condensed Matter Physics