There are situations where it would be helpful to account for the interaction of electric fields with liquid and solid materials. For example, electrostatic air cleaners rely on the ability to attract small particles in flowing air to a surface where they can be collected and removed from the air. In this case the primary attractive force arises from dielectric polarization of the particles.
Spraying liquid drops onto a surface, as in spray painting, is often improved by electrifying the drops so that they repel one another and produce a more uniform distribution. Also, electrified drops can be driven to overcome air resistance by suitable electric fields.
In many types of micro-electrical-mechanical-systems (MEMS) fluids are caused to move by the application of electric potentials. Usually this behavior is induced by electric forces acting on dielectric polarization charges generated at free fluid surfaces or at the interfaces between two fluids.

In some situations the effects of both dielectrically induced charges as well as free electric charges in a fluid must be considered. For these cases the fluid has some nonzero conductivity that must be accounted for by tracking charge densities and adding additional body forces to the fluid. The range of possibilities when conduction is present includes bound and free charges, recombination, ionization, currents without net charge densities, etc. As described next, we shall limit the present development to a useful subset of the many possibilities.

In this note we describe a set of program developments that give FLOW-3DÒ the capability to model fluid and particulate flows involving both free and induced charge densities. In the current released version of FLOW-3D® (Ver. 7.7) both particles and fluid can contain a fixed charge density, but there is no provision for dielectric materials.

Here we describe the addition of dielectric properties for particles, fluids, and solids. In addition, linear polarization forces acting on particles and fluids by electrostatic fields are added to the momentum equations for fluid and particles.