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Influence of Substrate Properties in Drop on Demand Printing

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Drop on demand ink jet printing has become a very important printing technology combining excellent ease of use with good image quality. Optimal image quality, however, is only possible after proper tuning of ink, media and driver settings. In this study, final image quality is correlated with intermediate phases taking place after a droplet has been jetted from an ink jet head. As such, droplet impact upon the substrate with associated spreading, liquid imbibition into the porous receiving layer, and finally evaporation of the liquid into the surrounding air are considered.

The experimental methods used are based on highspeed cinematography and proprietary phase controlled ultra short snap shots of the impact process. Different grades of papers were considered covering a wide range of porosities. A wide range of flow regimes is covered in the impact phase: spreading, retraction, oscillation and eventual splashing of secondary drops. It is shown here that the transient evolution during the impact phase is paramount in determining the initial conditions of the imbibition and could be well expressed in terms of dimensionless numbers that are defined in the paper.

It is also demonstrated that in contrast to the inertial spreading, the capillary wicking process takes place on a quite different time scale and is not easily amenable to dimensional analysis because of the strong interaction between flow parameters and substrate properties. In a third phase the liquid penetrating into the pores is shown to be evaporating into the environment at another time scale. Finally, the different results that have been obtained are compared with existing data, the possible physical mechanisms are pinpointed and explained and a unified framework of the impact process considering the image quality on substrates is suggested.

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: January 1, 2002

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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