Flow electrification of insulated liquid in metal pipes

Shouxin Zhu, Lin Liu, Satoshi Takahashi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


When relative motion occurs between a liquid and a solid, the two phases carry electric charge with opposite signs. The created charge easily accumulates in the liquid, and the amount of the charge carried in an insulated liquid refers to many factors, such as contact area with the solid surface, the contact time, and so forth. However, current theories agree that the amount of charge created during flow electrification is proportional to the contact surface. In this paper, the classical wall current theory is applied to establish an interfacial electrical double-layer model of flow electrification phenomena when an insulated liquid passes over metal pipe surface. Meanwhile, in conjunction with charge relaxation function, the relation between the charge density and flow velocity, the contact time and the contact area is obtained during the liquid flowing process. The experimental result demonstrates that the flowing charge carried in the insulated liquid is not simply proportional to the contact area, but has a non-linear dependence on the contact area and the contact time. Moreover, down flow experimental equipment pipes of different length and diameter, and dielectric hydraulic oil VG46 are used in an experimental study of laminar flow, in order to understand electrification phenomena in dielectric liquid flowing over metal pipes of different length and aperture. If they both increase linearly, charge relaxation will increase exponentially. As a result, the test result verifies related theoretical analysis, and the method given provides a theoretical basis to analyze interfacial electrical phenomena.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1115-1120
Number of pages6
JournalChinese Journal of Mechanical Engineering (English Edition)
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2012


  • Contact time
  • Flow electrification
  • Metal pipes
  • Relaxation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering


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