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Measuring Dynamic Interactions Between Paper and Microscale Ink Drops

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The size of a single drop determines the smallest detail that can be produced in an ink jet system. Drops of as small as three picoliters can be controllably created at the present level of ink jet technology. The final dot quality of a drop can be easily measured by an image analysis system, but the significance of high speed dynamic interactions between paper and ink cannot be determined from the final print quality. Therefore, VTT Information technology has developed several high-speed camera based systems for ink jet paper research.

This paper details a new laboratory-scale test environment developed for the measurement of dynamic interactions between paper and ink with drops of a magnitude of under 20 microns. The equipment is based on a commercial piezo-electric desktop printer, a high-speed CCD camera, an optical fibre light source and a PC with control and analysis software. In this environment, the impact, spreading, penetration and drying of very small 3 pl ink drops on the paper samples can be observed on a time scale of milliseconds up to several minutes. This article describes the development and properties of this new environment. In addition, examples of the results produced by this new equipment are given.

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: January 1, 2001

More about this publication?
  • For more than 25 years, NIP has been the leading forum for discussion of advances and new directions in non-impact and digital printing technologies. A comprehensive, industry-wide conference, this meeting includes all aspects of the hardware, materials, software, images, and applications associated with digital printing systems, including drop-on-demand ink jet, wide format ink jet, desktop and continuous ink jet, toner-based electrophotographic printers, production digital printing systems, and thermal printing systems, as well as the engineering capability, optimization, and science involved in these fields.

    Since 2005, NIP has been held in conjunction with the Digital Fabrication Conference.

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