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Combined Influences of Electric Fields and Wettability on Contact Line Evaporation of a Sessile Droplet in Microgravity for Novel Space and Ground Applications

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  • Full or part time
    Dr S Alimohammadi
  • Application Deadline
    No more applications being accepted
  • Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)
    Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)

About This PhD Project

Project Description

Droplet evaporation is of significant scientific and engineering interest. It represents a common natural phenomenon that is not fully understood yet is used in many industrial fields, ranging from DNA mapping, ink-jet printing, surface patterning to evaporative spray cooling.
Heat and mass transfer near the triple contact line region of an evaporating droplet is a complex phenomenon. Albeit a proportionately small region compared with the droplet size, the wetting physics at the contact line is crucial in defining the static and dynamic mechanics of evaporating droplets. The contact line is a key area that requires significant research to fully understand droplet evaporation, particularly with the inclusion of external field effects such as electric fields in combination with other effects such as wettability. The progress to full understanding is hampered by a general shortfall in robust simulation-based research in this field, addressed by this project.
This project proposes a numerical-experimental investigation of the heat and mass transfer to an evaporating hydrophilic water droplet. The latest advancements in Computational Fluid Dynamics in two-phase flow and heat transfer will be utilized. Initially, the model will be created in either of the prevalent Computational Fluids Dynamics packages (Ansys and COMSOL). It will later be developed using open-source software (Open FOAM), operated remotely on a high-end computing cluster.
Numerical predictions will be experimentally validated with thin-foil thermography and droplet shape analysis. The recently developed state-of-the-art experimental setup will be used to carry out the experiments on the ground and in microgravity (on parabolic flights).
The validated numerical tool will be used for the high-fidelity interpretation of the experiment data. The impact of electric fields and gravity on the convective heat transfer to evaporating hydrophobic and hydrophilic droplets will further be examined in microgravity and on the ground conditions.

Student requirements for this project
Minimum of a 2.1 honours degree (level 8) in a relevant discipline


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