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Title: Revisiting Maxwell’s accommodation coefficient: A study of nitrogen flow in a silica microtube across all flow regimes

Gas flows have been studied quantitatively for more than a hundred years and have relevance in modern fields such as the control of gas inputs to processes, the measurement of leak rates and the separation of gaseous species. Cha and McCoy have derived a convenient formula for the flow of an ideal gas applicable across a wide range of Knudsen numbers (Kn) that approaches the Navier–Stokes equations at small Kn and the Smoluchowski extension of the Knudsen flow equation at large Kn. Smoluchowski’s result relies on the Maxwell definition of the tangential momentum accommodation coefficient α, recently challenged by Arya et al. We measure the flow rate of nitrogen gas in a smooth walled silica tube across a wide range of Knudsen numbers from 0.0048 to 12.4583. We find that the nitrogen flow obeys the Cha and McCoy equation with a large value of α, unlike carbon nanotubes which show flows consistent with a small value of α. Silica capillaries are therefore not atomically smooth. The flow at small Kn has α=0.91 and at large Kn has α close to one, consistent with the redefinition of accommodation coefficient by Arya et al., which also resolves a problem in the literaturemore » where there are many observations of α of less than one at small Kn and many equal to one at large Kn. Silica capillaries are an excellent choice for an accurate flow control system. - Highlights: • First experimental study on flow rate across all flow regimes in a well-defined microtube. • Extend Cha and McCoy theory for molecular flow regime. • Demonstrate the Maxwell accommodation coefficient is different in the slip and molecular flow regimes.« less
Authors:
;
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
22403501
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Annals of Physics (New York); Journal Volume: 351; Other Information: Copyright (c) 2014 Elsevier Science B.V., Amsterdam, The Netherlands, All rights reserved.; Country of input: International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
42 ENGINEERING; CAPILLARIES; CAPILLARY FLOW; CARBON NANOTUBES; CONTROL SYSTEMS; FLOW RATE; KNUDSEN FLOW; LEAKS; NITROGEN; SILICA; SLIP; TUBES