Jetting, In-Nozzle Meniscus Motion and Nozzle-Plate Flooding in an Industrial Drop-on-Demand Print Head

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The state of the ink film at and near the nozzles of a drop-on-demand (DoD) print head during jetting has a direct impact on printing performance and reliability. We have developed high-speed imaging apparatus and analytical techniques to investigate the ink film dynamics on an industrial print head nozzle-plate in real-time. In addition to a direct correlation between the jet emergence velocity and drive voltage, drive-dependent variations in the oscillation of the ink meniscus in adjacent nozzles were also observed. Using a ray-tracing model to analyze the meniscus shape, the meniscus oscillations for both printing and non-printing nozzles were found to be complex and involve elements such as pre-oscillation and high-order surface waves. The flooding of non-firing nozzles, deliberately caused by the application of maximum drive voltage to a neighboring nozzle, has been recorded and analyzed dynamically. The build-up of fluid in an annulus around the nozzle (flooding rate) has been characterized and compared with models for the net ink flow through the nozzle.

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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