Drop Speeds from Drop-on-Demand Ink-Jet Print Heads
Measured drop speeds from a range of industrial drop-on-demand (DoD) ink-jet print head designs scale with the predictions of very simple physical models and results of numerical simulations. The main drop/jet speeds at a specified stand-off depend on fluid properties, nozzle exit diameter, and print head drive amplitude for fixed waveform timescales. Drop speeds from the Xaar, Spectra Dimatix, and MicroFab DoD print heads tested with (i) Newtonian, (ii) weakly elastic, and (iii) highly shear-thinning fluids all show a characteristic linear rise with drive voltage (setting) above an apparent threshold drive voltage. Jetting, simple modeling approaches, and numerical simulations of Newtonian fluids over the typical DoD printing range of surface tensions and viscosities were studied to determine how this threshold drive value and the slope of the characteristic linear rise depend on these fluid properties and nozzle exit area. The final speed is inversely proportional to the nozzle exit area, as expected from volume conservation. These results should assist specialist users in the development and optimization of DoD applications and print head design. For a given density, the drive threshold is determined primarily by viscosity η, and the constant of proportionality k linking speed with drive above a drive threshold becomes independent of viscosity and surface tension for more viscous DoD fluid jetting:
Document Type: Research Article
Publication date: 2013-01-01
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