Experimental investigation into three-dimensional wavy liquid films under the influence of electrostatic forces

Wilko Rohlfs*, Georg F. Dietze, Herman D. Haustein, Oleg Yu Tsvelodub, Reinhold Kneer

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)


Three-dimensional interfacial waves that develop on the free surface of falling liquid films are known to intensify heat and mass transfer. In this context, the present paper studies the effect of electrostatic forces applied to a falling film of dielectric liquid on its three-dimensional nonlinear wave dynamics. Therefore, measurements of the local film thickness using a confocal chromatic imaging method were taken, and the complex wave topology was characterized through photography. The experiments show a complex interaction between the electric field and the hydrodynamics of the falling film, whereby electrostatic forces were found to both increase and decrease wave peak height in different regions of the wave. Additionally, an electrically induced breakup of the three-dimensional wave fronts, which leads to a locally doubled frequency in streamwise direction, is found. The ability to influence the wave topology demonstrated here opens the possibility to optimize heat transfer processes in falling liquid films.
Original languageUndefined
Pages (from-to)1045-1056
JournalExperiments in fluids
Early online date12 Jul 2012
Publication statusPublished - 2012
Externally publishedYes

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