Fluid Labs

The Flow, Aerosols, and Thermal Energy (FATE) Fluid Labs support teaching and research activities through state-of-the-art equipment for the measurement of fluids, gases, aerosols, environmental emissions and plasmas.

About the lab

The Fluid Labs provide specialised equipment for:

  • Analylising equipment involving complex single phase and multiphase flows, such as solid-gas or solid-liquid, which are relevant in numerous biomedical and industrial processes.
  • Designing and optimising thermos-fluid and combustion systems using a range of open-source and commercial computational fluid dynamics (CFD) simulation tools.
  • Experimental validation using data visualisation (PIV) and high-speed imaging.
  • Characterising aerosols and testing for bio-medical applications, such as the development of a pulmonary and nasal inhaler.
  • Powder formulation and particle engineering – notably, we have good capability for producing aerosolisable materials and micro/nano-powders.

Equipment and technology

Equipment in the labs include:

  • Fluids diagnostic imaging tools – particle imaging velocimetry (PIV) laser, Festo (thermal camera), which includes a built-in PIV laser, high-speed and thermal cameras
  • Fluids and process systems – sub-sonic wind-tunnel, lab-scale fluidised bed, and heat transfer and HVAC demonstration units
  • Biomedical systems – a mock circulatory system for in-vitro testing of cardiovascular devices, and a mock human nasal and pulmonary model
  • High-powered computing for computational CFD
  • Powder technology systems – Freeman FT4 powder analysis system, used for characterising powders and solids
  • Retsch sieve shaker, Camsizer, Malvern Mastersizer 3000, Motic microscope, tablet hardness tester, tablet friability tester

Within the Institute for Frontier Materials there are extensive facilities for powder processing and particle engineering and formulation, including:

  • ProJet 460 plus 3D printer
  • high-shear granulator
  • Gamblen compaction unit
  • Buchi 290 pilot spray dryer and a Niro Mobile Minor spray dryer
  • Eirich EL1 ultra high-shear mixer and mechanofusion capability
  • Turbula shaker extensive range of micronisers and ball mills – including capabilities suitable for nano-milling.

Teaching and research applications

The Fluid Labs support undergraduate students studying thermal-fluids subjects and are also used for their final-year projects. Students experience engineering training using hands-on testing facilities that simulate working in an engineering environment. We also apply the latest computational modelling tools as part of the training to complement experimental facilities.

Students undertaking their higher degree by research through a masters or PhD, as well as academic staff, use the labs to support their research activities.

Some highlighted projects include:

  • working with Flavourtech the world leader in aroma recovery, extraction and evaporation solutions
  • collaborating with several pharmaceutical companies in development of nasal and pulmonary delivery technologies
  • modelling and measuring fluid flows in novel medical injectors for vaccination.

Industry partners

Our partners become valued members of the wider Deakin engineering family, not just our school. Opportunities to partner with us include work-integrated learning and industry-based learning and placements, student projects, and commercial research projects and services.

Find out more about industry partnerships

Study with us

Deakin offers the following study and research options: