Electrohydraulic Effect

electrohydraulic effect

[i¦lek·trō·hī¦drȯl·ik i′fekt]
(physical chemistry)
Generation of shock waves and highly reactive species in a liquid as the result of application of very brief but powerful electrical pulses.

Electrohydraulic Effect


the occurrence of a high pressure as a result of a high-voltage electric discharge between electrodes immersed in a liquid. A pressure of up to 3 kilobars (300 meganewtons per m2) is produced owing to the energy of a pulsed shock wave that propagates around the discharge channel in the working medium, which is usually water.

The high pressure is used to produce a mechanical effect on materials during, for example, processing (including pressing, forming, and bending), refining, crushing, grinding, mixing (as in the preparation of suspensions), and pulverizing.

The power required for the electric discharge is stored in a capacitor. Depending on the purpose of the equipment, capacitors with a capacitance of 10 to 1,500 microfarads are used, as well as an impulse current of 15–50 kiloamperes, a discharge time of 10–40 microseconds, and an instantaneous power of up to 200 megawatts.


Nesvetailov, G. A., and E. A. Serebriakov. Teoriia I praktika elektrogidravlicheskogo effekta. Minsk, 1966.
Popilov, L. Ia. Elektrofizicheskaia i elektrokhimicheskaia obrabotka materialov. Moscow, 1969.