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Two-phase electro-hydrodynamic flow modeling by a conservative level set model


  • Colour Online: See the article online to view Figs. 1–5 in colour.

Correspondence: Dr. Yuan Lin, Comsol AB, Tegnérgatan 23, 111 40 Stockholm, Sweden


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The principles of electro-hydrodynamic (EHD) flow have been known for more than a century and have been adopted for various industrial applications, for example, fluid mixing and demixing. Analytical solutions of such EHD flow only exist in a limited number of scenarios, for example, predicting a small deformation of a single droplet in a uniform electric field. Numerical modeling of such phenomena can provide significant insights about EHDs multiphase flows. During the last decade, many numerical results have been reported to provide novel and useful tools of studying the multiphase EHD flow. Based on a conservative level set method, the proposed model is able to simulate large deformations of a droplet by a steady electric field, which is beyond the region of theoretic prediction. The model is validated for both leaky dielectrics and perfect dielectrics, and is found to be in excellent agreement with existing analytical solutions and numerical studies in the literature. Furthermore, simulations of the deformation of a water droplet in decyl alcohol in a steady electric field match better with published experimental data than the theoretical prediction for large deformations. Therefore the proposed model can serve as a practical and accurate tool for simulating two-phase EHD flow.