Evaluation of flow characteristics that give higher mixing performance in the 3-D T-mixer versus the typical T-mixer
A 3-D configuration of a T-mixer is evaluated under normal operating conditions of the called convective micromixers. The design has been called 3-D T-mixer in our previous work  as it adopts a three-dimensional structure at the T-junction. This design feature has been found that it exerts a strong effect on the flow characteristics in the device downstream in the mixing channel. A numerical study has been carried out in the 3-D T-mixer and the typical T-mixer, being these modelled with equal dimensions of channel lengths and cross sections and operated with the same flow rates. The flow analysis in the 3-D T-mixer reveals the quick formation of vortical flow structures composed of intertwined fluid filaments which increase drastically the fluids interface to enhance mixing. The flow patterns in the mixing channel vary with Reynolds number (Re) in the range 100-500. This study shows that the 3-D T-mixer provides a significant enhancement of mixing and presents lower pressure loss and similar level of shear stress compared to a typical T-mixer, in the whole range of Re used to characterize the flow. It has a simple channel configuration which is easy to fabricate and effective for mixing of continuous fluid and potentially particles. The 3-D T-mixer is called to be tested and applied for improving the efficiency of systems which have a T-junction in their design and require fast mixing with high throughput.