An electric field is applied to destabilize the interface between two Newtonian and immiscible liquids flowing in a rectangular micro channel. The liquids are pumped into the micro channel with a syringe pump and a DC electric field is applied either parallel or normal to the flat interface between these liquids. The two liquids used in the experiments are a combination of ethylene glycol, different viscosity silicone oils, castor oil, and olive oil. The onset of electrohydrodynamic instability is investigated for various parameters, including the ratios of the flow rates, and viscosities of the liquids, the width of the micro channel, and the direction of the applied electric field. The order of the voltage applied to destabilize the interface is in the range 95 and 1190 V. The results of the experiments show that an increase in the viscosity ratio and the flow rate ratio of silicone oil to ethylene glycol have a stabilizing effect. It is also found that the important parameter to determine the critical voltage is the flow rate ratio, not the individual flow rates of the liquids. Also, as the width of the micro channel increases, the critical voltage increases. Lastly, for the liquid combinations used in the experiments, the interface could not be destabilized under the influence of a parallel electric field.
European Physical Journal Special Topic Viscosity Ratio Immiscible Liquid Flow Rate Ratio Critical Voltage
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