Inflow boundary conditions determine T-mixer efficiency†
We report on a comprehensive experimental–computational study of a simple T-shaped mixer for Reynolds numbers up to 4000. In the experiments, we determine the mixing time by applying the Villermaux–Dushman characterization to a water–water mixture. In the numerical simulations, we resolve down to the smallest (Kolmogorov) flow scales in space and time. Excellent agreement is obtained between the experimentally measured mixing time and numerically computed intensity of segregation, especially in the turbulent regime, which validates both approaches. We confirm that the mixing time is mainly determined by the specific power input, as assumed in most mixing-models. However, we show that by suitably manipulating the inflow conditions, the power input necessary to achieve a given mixing time can be reduced by a factor of six. Our study enables detailed investigations of the influence of hydrodynamics on chemical reactions and precipitation processes, as well as the detailed testing of turbulence and micromixing models.