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On the theory of electrohydrodynamically driven capillary jets


Electrohydrodynamically (EHD) driven capillary jets are analysed in this work in the parametrical limit of negligible charge relaxation effects, i.e. when the electric relaxation time of the liquid is small compared to the hydrodynamic times. This regime can be found in the electrospraying of liquids when Taylor's charged capillary jets are formed in a steady regime. A quasi-one-dimensional EHD model comprising temporal balance equations of mass, momentum, charge, the capillary balance across the surface, and the inner and outer electric fields equations is presented. The steady forms of the temporal equations take into account surface charge convection as well as Ohmic bulk conduction, inner and outer electric field equations, momentum and pressure balances. Other existing models are also compared. The propagation speed of surface disturbances is obtained using classical techniques. It is shown here that, in contrast with previous models, surface charge convection provokes a difference between the upstream and the downstream wave speed values, the upstream wave speed, to some extent, being delayed. Subcritical, supercritical and convectively unstable regions are then identified. The supercritical nature of the microjets emitted from Taylor's cones is highlighted, and the point where the jet switches from a stable to a convectively unstable regime (i.e. where the propagation speed of perturbations become zero) is identified. The electric current carried by those jets is an eigenvalue of the problem, almost independent of the boundary conditions downstream, in an analogous way to the gas flow in convergent–divergent nozzles exiting into very low pressure. The EHD model is applied to an experiment and the relevant physical quantities of the phenomenon are obtained. The EHD hypotheses of the model are then checked and confirmed within the limits of the one-dimensional assumptions.

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Journal of Fluid Mechanics
  • ISSN: 0022-1120
  • EISSN: 1469-7645
  • URL: /core/journals/journal-of-fluid-mechanics
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