Studying Whipping Instabilities in Electrolyte Jets

Updated: Nov 23, 2020

This project focuses on understanding the origin and propagation of whipping instabilities observed experimentally in electrolyte jets (shown below).

Experimental studies in the Multiphase and Cardiovascular Laboratory of the University of Washington show the formation and propagation of whipping instabilities in a grounded electrolyte jet flowing through an electric field. A schematic of the experimental setup is shown below.

In this system, the electrolyte introduces multiple charged species. To model this system numerically, the electrohydrodynamic module from the rotary bell atomizer project is modified to allow independent treatment of anions and cations as the charge carriers. Additionally, the Nernst-Planck equation is used to model ion-transport that results in ion separation and accumulation.

The project is still in its preliminary stage. A secondary goal of this research is to investigate the origin and dynamics of this jet behavior and further the understanding of the underlying physical processes in electrosprays.

Video credits: Multiphase & Cardiovascular Flow Lab, University of Washington

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