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From Ink Bottle to Ink Drop: The Flow Environment in an Inkjet Printhead

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In any inkjet system, the ink goes through various physical and geometric constraints which influence the flow dynamics and finally the jetting characteristics. The dynamic flow behaviour in-channel, through the nozzle and in flight during printing is vital to control print quality (drop ejection characteristic, reliability) and further advances in the capability of inkjet technology.

This paper will discuss the flow behaviour at each stage of a drop-on-demand printhead. The fluid dynamics of the ink on the millimetre scale within the printhead inlet is very different to that on the micron scale within the channel and nozzle. Although they are all in the laminar flow regime they are subject to very different shear rates. In a printhead, various system components (ink, heaters, pumps, actuator and nozzle) must be designed or configured to achieve target velocity, frequency, drop size, and reliability. Both simulation and experimental results on these topics will be discussed in this paper.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2011-01-01

More about this publication?
  • 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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