Heat transfer associated with boiling degrades at elevated temperatures due to the formation of an insulating vapor layer at the solid-liquid interface (Leidenfrost effect). Interfacial electrowetting (EW) fields can disrupt this vapor layer to promote liquid-surface wetting. We experimentally analyze EW-induced disruption of the vapor layer and measure the resulting enhanced cooling during the process of quenching. Imaging is employed to visualize the fluid-surface interactions and understand boiling patterns in the presence of an electrical voltage. It is seen that EW fields fundamentally change the boiling pattern, wherein a stable vapor layer is replaced by intermittent wetting of the surface. Heat conduction across the vapor gap is thus replaced with transient convection. This fundamental switch in the heat transfer mode significantly accelerates cooling during quenching. An order of magnitude increase in the cooling rate is observed, with the heat transfer seen approaching saturation at higher voltages. An analytical model is developed to extract voltage dependent heat transfer rates from the measured cooling curve. The results show that electric fields can alter and tune the traditional cooling curve. Overall, this study presents an ultralow power consumption concept to control the mechanical properties and metallurgy, by electrically tuning the cooling rate during quenching.

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