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Satellite formation in drop-on-demand printing of polymer solutions

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High speed photographic images of jets formed from dilute solutions of polystyrene in diethyl phthalate ejected from a piezoelectric drop-on-demand inkjet head have been analyzed in order to study the formation and distribution of drops as the ligament collapses. Particular attention has been paid to satellite drops, and their relative separation and sizes. The effect of polymer concentration was investigated.

The distribution of nearest-neighbour centre spacing between the drops formed from the ligament is better described by a 2-parameter modified gamma distribution than by a Gaussian distribution.

There are (at least) two different populations of satellite size relative to the main drop size formed at normal jetting velocities, with ratios of about three between the diameters of the main drop and the successive satellite sizes. The distribution of the differences in drop size between neighbouring drops is close to Gaussian, with a small non-zero mean for low polymer concentrations, which is associated with the conical shape of the ligament prior to its collapse and the formation of satellites.

Higher polymer concentrations result in slower jets for the same driving impulse, and also a tendency to form ligaments with a near-constant width. Under these conditions the mean of the distribution of differences in nearest-neighbour drop size was zero.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 01 January 2007

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  • For more than 30 years, IS&T's series of digital printing conferences have been the leading forum for discussion of advances and new directions in 2D and 3D printing technologies. A comprehensive, industry-wide conference that brings together industry and academia, this meeting includes all aspects of the hardware, materials, software, images, and applications associated with digital printing systems?particularly those involved with additive manufacturing and fabrication?including bio-printing, printed electronics, page-wide, drop-on-demand, desktop and continuous ink jet, toner-based systems, and production digital printing, as well as the engineering capability, optimization, and science involved in these fields. In 2016, the conference changed its name formally to Printing for Fabrication to better reflect the content of the meeting and the evolving technology of printing.

    Please note: For purposes of its Digital Library content, IS&T defines Open Access as papers that will be downloadable in their entirety for free in perpetuity. Copyright restrictions on papers vary; see individual paper for details.

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