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Nozzle Plate Observations during Printing: Pooling and its Impact on Reliability

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Many factors control the reliability of a print head during use. Apart from altering the jetting condition like drop velocity and frequency, reliability can be controlled during the development of the waveform for the ink/print head combination. It may also be modified through careful control of the components and the physical properties of ink.

Typically drops are observed in flight while waveform is developed to produce drops of the desired characteristics. Through close observation of the nozzle plate during this process it was noted how the non-firing neighbours of printing channels were prone to pool under certain conditions while pooling around the jetting channel would have been expected. Adjustment to waveforms to reduce the degree of pooling was found to improve printhead reliability.

Work did not concentrate solely on waveform development. Improvement to jetting and reliability was also found through fine tuning the composition of the ink. Similarly, conditioning the nozzle plate was found to slow the onset of pooling. This may offer an alternative approach to improving print reliability through ink or waveform modification since wiping the nozzle plate may be included as part of the maintenance routine.

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: January 1, 2011

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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