Hydraulic friction reduction in a microchannel due to superhydrophobic texturing of its walls was studied theoretically and experimentally. A modified Poiseuille equation formulated from an earlier-established semi-analytical approach to model texturing of slip lengths and the “gas cushion model” was used to predict the hydraulic conductance of a microchannel. An experimental setup with a microfluidic flow cell consisting of syringe pump, pressure manometer and tubing measured the pressure drop at different flow rates through a microchannel. The top and bottom walls of the microchannel was textured with micro-pits using nanosecond pulsed laser on the titanium alloy Ti6Al4V. A very high contact angle was observed on the textured surfaces suggesting entrapped gas bubbles. Liquid slippage leading to reduced hydraulic friction is attributable to the bubbles. The pressure-flow rate characteristics of the microchannels confirm friction reduction and also demonstrate a reasonable agreement with the theoretical predictions from the developed fluid dynamic model.

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