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Computational study of dynamics of confined droplets under electric field: effect of contact angle

Qianqian Cao (College of Information Science and Engineering, Jiaxing University, Jiaxing, P.R. China)
Lujuan Li (College of Information Science and Engineering, Jiaxing University, Jiaxing, P.R. China)
Hao You (College of Data Science, Jiaxing University, Jiaxing, P.R. China and Shanghai Diwen Technology Co. Ltd., Shanghai, P.R. China)
Hao Liu (College of Information Science and Engineering, Jiaxing University, Jiaxing, P.R. China)

International Journal of Numerical Methods for Heat & Fluid Flow

ISSN: 0961-5539

Article publication date: 21 December 2022

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Abstract

Purpose

The contact behaviors of droplets on confined surfaces influence significantly their dynamics and morphological transition induced by the electric field. This paper aims to delve into the electric stress, electric field distribution, flow field and evolution of droplet neck to understand the underlying mechanisms.

Design/methodology/approach

Electrohydrodynamics of droplets in confined environment is numerically analyzed based on finite volume method (FVM) combining with volume-of-fluid (VOF) method for two-phase interface capturing. Numerical solutions are obtained through solving electrohydrodynamics model coupling fluid dynamics with electrostatics.

Findings

It was found that the droplet neck with high interfacial curvature undergoes different transition depending on the contact angle. At large domain height, the droplets on the surfaces with the contact angle of θ < 90° tend to break up into smaller droplets adhered on top and bottom surfaces. The detachment of droplets is identified when the contact angle is much greater than 90°. Notably, the droplets at θ = 90° exhibit asymmetrical shape evolution, but for other cases there is symmetrical shape of droplets during transition process. With decreasing the domain height, no obvious deformation through driving the contraction of the droplet neck is observed.

Originality/value

It remains unclear how the electric field parallel to the surfaces affects the shape transition and electrohydrodynamics of confined droplets when changing the contact angle. In this paper, the authors study the electrohydrodynamics of droplets in confined space when the electric field is exerted parallel to contact surfaces. In particular, the authors consider the effect of the surface wettability on the droplet deformation. The problem is solved through FVM combining with the VOF method to implement the capturing of two-phase interfaces. The results indicate that the electrohydrodynamic behaviors of droplets are sensitive to the contact properties of droplets on the surfaces, which has not been reported in previous works.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

This work is funded by the Zhejiang Provincial Natural Science Foundation of China (Grant No. LY19A020006) and the Research Foundation of Education Bureau of Zhejiang Province of China (Grant No. Y202248812).

Citation

Cao, Q., Li, L., You, H. and Liu, H. (2022), "Computational study of dynamics of confined droplets under electric field: effect of contact angle", International Journal of Numerical Methods for Heat & Fluid Flow, Vol. ahead-of-print No. ahead-of-print. https://doi.org/10.1108/HFF-03-2022-0185

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2022, Emerald Publishing Limited

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