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Bubble Detachment and Coalescence under the Influence of Electric Fields

DOI: 10.1615/ICHMT.2004.IntThermSciSemin.730
pages 595-602

Cila Herman
Department of Mechanical Engineering, The Johns Hopkins University, 3400 North Charles Street, Baltimore, Maryland 21218, U.S.A.

Dieter Mewes
University of Hannover, Institut fur Verfahrenstechnik (Process Engineering), Callinstr. 36, 30167 Hannover, Germany

Zan Liu
Department of Mechanical Engineering, The Johns Hopkins University, 3400 N. Charles Street, Baltimore, Maryland, USA

J. Radke
Institute of Process Engineering, University of Hannover, Callinstr. 36, 30167 Hannover, Germany


The effect of a nonuniform electric field on the formation, coalescence and detachment of a single bubble and pair of air bubbles injected into a stagnant, isothermal liquid through orifices is studied to identify bubble behavior patterns. The results of the experimental visualization clearly indicate the significant differences in bubble shape, size and trajectory due to the effect of the electric field. The electric field was applied between a flat, circular and horizontal ground electrode and a spherical, off-axis top electrode. In single bubble experiments the bubble was tilted towards or away from the upper electrode under the influence of the electric field. Although the direction of the tilt alternated (even in a single experiment), in the majority of the cases it tilted towards the top electrode. In bubble pair experiments the bubbles behaved similarly to the single bubble case at larger volume flow rates. In low volume flow rate experiments the bubbles were tilted in opposite directions. Furthermore, the detachment frequency increased under the influence of the electric field, which indicates decreased bubble volume for lower volume flow rates.

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