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# Mathematical and numerical analysis of electrospraying electrodynamics

Pieterse, Cornelius Louwrens (2014-12)

Thesis (MEng)--Stellenbosch University, 2014.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: The electrodynamics of arbitrary, point-to-plane electrospraying geometries, were investigated in this research both analytically and numerically. Electrospraying is the process during which particles of sizes in the nanometre range are simultaneously generated and charged by means of an applied electrostatic field. A high electrostatic potential is applied to a conductive capillary needle, which overcomes the force exerted by the liquid surface tension. One of the primary limitations of this process are corona discharges. The effect of corona discharges have not been studied quantitatively, even though it is frequently reported in the electrospraying literature. The main objective of this research was to understand the corona discharge thresholds associated with electrospraying. Previously, only one theoretical, and two empirical investigations studied this phenomenon, over a time period of approximately forty years. It was clear that by better understanding these thresholds, electrospraying could be applied much more effectively. A corona discharge threshold model is proposed, using either a numerical or analytical model for the calculation of polarization fields. When compared with the experimental results of other researchers, both these two models have average relative percentage errors of approximately 15%. These are the first models proposed in the literature for the calculation of electrospraying corona thresholds. A new method to determine surface tension using electrospraying is described theoretically. In addition to this method, the calculation of corona discharge thresholds have various applications. For example, the dynamics of electrostatic ion thrusters are much better described, powder production by means of electrospraying can be optimised, and pattern generation using pulsed electrospraying cone-jets can be optimised as well.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Die elektrodinamika van arbitrêre, punt-tot-vlak elektrosproei geometrieë was beide analities en numeries ondersoek in hierdie tesis. Dit is die proses waartydens nanodeeltjies gelyktydig gegenereer en elektrostaties gelaai word. Deur 'n hoë elektriese potensiaal aan te lê tot 'n geleidende kapillêr, is dit moontlik om die krag van die oppervlakte spanning te oorkom. Een van die primêre beperkings van elektrosproei is corona ontladings. Die effek van corona ontladings was nog nie kwantitatief bestudeer nie, selfs al word dit dikwels rapporteer in die elektrosproei literatuur. Die primêre doel van hierdie navorsing was om die corona ontlading drempels te verstaan wat geassosieer word met elektrosproei. In die verlede was daar nog net een teoretiese, en twee empiriese ondersoeke gewees wat hierdie verskynsel bestuur het, oor 'n tydperk van ongeveer veertig jaar. Dit was duidelik dat deur 'n beter begrip te hê van hierdie elektrosproei drempels, kan hierdie proses baie meer doeltreffend toegepas word. In hierdie tesis word 'n corona ontlading drempel model voorgestel, wat gebruik maak van 'n analitiese of numeriese model om die polarisasie velde te bereken. Wanneer vergelyk met die resultate van ander navorsers, het beide die modelle 'n gemiddelde relatiewe persentasie fout van ongeveer 15%. Hierdie is die eerste modelle wat voorgestel word vir die berekening van corona ontlading drempels. Deur gebruik te maak van elektrosproei, word 'n nuwe metode ook voorgestel om die oppervlakte spanning te bereken. In byvoeging tot hierdie, het die berekening van corona ontlading drempels vele ander toepassings. As 'n voorbeeld, die dinamika van elektrostatiese ioon stuwers word beter beskryf, en poeier produksie deur middel van elektrosproei kan optimeer word.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/95529

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