Three-dimensional aspects of fluid flows in channels. II. Effects of meniscus and thin film regimes on viscous fingers
We perform a three-dimensional study of steady state viscous fingers that develop in linear channels. By means of a three-dimensional lattice-Boltzmann scheme that mimics the full macroscopic equations of motion of the fluid momentum and order parameter, we study the effect of the thickness of the channel in two cases. First, for total displacement of the fluids in the channel thickness direction, we find that the steady state finger is effectively two-dimensional and that previous two-dimensional results can be recovered by taking into account the effect of a curved meniscus across the channel thickness as a contribution to surface stresses. Second, when a thin film develops in the channel thickness direction, the finger narrows with increasing channel aspect ratio in agreement with experimental results. The effect of the thin film renders the problem three-dimensional and results deviate from the two-dimensional prediction. (C) 2007 American Institute of Physics.