Electric field stabilization of viscous liquid layers coating the underside of a surface

Thomas G. Anderson, Radu Cimpeanu, Demetrios T. Papageorgiou, Peter G. Petropoulos

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations

Abstract

We investigate the electrostatic stabilization of a viscous thin film wetting the underside of a horizontal surface in the presence of an electric field applied parallel to the surface. The model includes the effect of bounding solid dielectric regions above and below the liquid-air system that are typically found in experiments. The competition between gravitational forces, surface tension, and the nonlocal effect of the applied electric field is captured analytically in the form of a nonlinear evolution equation. A semispectral solution strategy is employed to resolve the dynamics of the resulting partial differential equation. Furthermore, we conduct direct numerical simulations (DNS) of the Navier-Stokes equations using the volume-of-fluid methodology and assess the accuracy of the obtained solutions in the long-wave (thin-film) regime when varying the electric field strength from zero up to the point when complete stabilization occurs. We employ DNS to examine the limitations of the asymptotically derived behavior as the liquid layer thickness increases and find excellent agreement even beyond the regime of strict applicability of the asymptotic solution. Finally, the asymptotic and computational approaches are utilized to identify robust and efficient active control mechanisms allowing the manipulation of the fluid interface in light of engineering applications at small scales, such as mixing.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number054001
JournalPhysical Review Fluids
Volume2
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - May 2017

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Computational Mechanics
  • Modeling and Simulation
  • Fluid Flow and Transfer Processes

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