The Impact Dynamics of Weakly Charged Droplets
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Electric charges are often found in naturally or artificially formed droplets, such as raindrops and those generated by Kelvin's water dropper. In contrast to the impact of neutral droplets on a flat solid surface upon which a thin convex lens shape layer of the gas film is typically formed, I show that the delicate gas thin film can be fundamentally altered for even weakly charged droplets both experimentally and numerically. As the charge level is raised above a critical level of about 1% of the Rayleigh limit for representative impact conditions, the Maxwell stress overcomes the gas pressure buildup to deform the droplet bottom surface. A conical liquid tip forms and pierces Through the gas film, leading to a circular contact line moving outwards that does not trap any gas. The critical charge level only depends on the capillary number based on the gas viscosity. The deformation applies to common liquids and molten alloy droplets. Even dielectric surfaces can also induce conical deformation. The charged droplets can also deform upon hydrophobic surfaces, and increase the contact time on hydrophobic surfaces or even avoid bouncing.
- Doctoral Dissertations