The study of flow and temperature fields in conducting droplets suspended in a DC/AC combination field
Pericleous, Koulis A. and Bojarevics, Valdis (2007) The study of flow and temperature fields in conducting droplets suspended in a DC/AC combination field. Current Advances in Materials and Processes , 20 (4). p. 796. ISSN 0914-6628Full text not available from this repository.
Electromagnetic Levitation (EML) is a valuable method for measuring the thermo-physical properties of metals - surface tensions, viscosity, thermal/electrical conductivity, specific heat, hemispherical emissivity, etc. – beyond their melting temperature. In EML, a small amount of the test specimen is melted by Joule heating in a suspended AC coil. Once in liquid state, a small perturbation causes the liquid envelope to oscillate and the frequency of oscillation is then used to compute its surface tension by the well know Rayleigh formula. Similarly, the rate at which the oscillation is dampened relates to the viscosity. To measure thermal conductivity, a sinusoidally varying laser source may be used to heat the polar axis of the droplet and the temperature response measured at the polar opposite – the resulting phase shift yields thermal conductivity. All these theoretical methods assume that convective effects due to flow within the droplet are negligible compared to conduction, and similarly that the flow conditions are laminar; a situation that can only be realised under microgravity conditions. Hence the EML experiment is the method favoured for Spacelab experiments (viz. TEMPUS).
Under terrestrial conditions, the full gravity force has to be countered by a much larger induced magnetic field. The magnetic field generates strong flow within the droplet, which for droplets of practical size becomes irrotational and turbulent. At the same time the droplet oscillation envelope is no longer ellipsoidal. Both these conditions invalidate simple theoretical models and prevent widespread EML use in terrestrial laboratories. The authors have shown in earlier publications that it is possible to suppress most of the turbulent convection generated in the droplet skin layer, through use of a static magnetic field. Using a pseudo-spectral discretisation method it is possible compute very accurately the dynamic variation in the suspended fluid envelope and simultaneously compute the time-varying electromagnetic, flow and thermal fields. The use of a DC field as a dampening agent was also demonstrated in cold crucible melting, where suppression of turbulence was achieved in a much larger liquid metal volume and led to increased superheat in the melt and reduction of heat losses to the water-cooled walls.
In this paper, the authors describe the pseudo-spectral technique as applied to EML to compute the combined effects of AC and DC fields, accounting for all the flow-induced forces acting on the liquid volume (Lorentz, Maragoni, surface tension, gravity) and show example simulations.
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