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Deflecting the Issue: The Origin of Nanoscale Material Build-up in Continuous Inkjet Printing

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Continuous inkjet printing relies on steering charged droplets accurately to the surface by using electric fields. A vital component is the set of deflecting electrodes within the printhead, which create these fields. Unwanted deposition of ink on the electrodes, known as build-up, is a concern for operators because this modifies the applied electric field, affects long-term reliability, and requires manual intervention. However, this has not been widely reported or explored. Here, the authors report a laser-based high-speed visualization technique to observe build-up and show that it stems from small satellite droplets that break off from the main printed drops. They characterize the material build-up and reveal its nanoscale particulate nature. Combining the tracking with characterization allows quantifying the charge-to-mass ratio of these droplets. This study provides a route to understanding the build-up phenomenon, and it will enable optimization of printing conditions and printing reliability.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Institute for Manufacturing, Department of Engineering, University of Cambridge, UK 2: Domino Printing UK, Cambridge, CB23 8TU, UK

Publication date: September 1, 2020

This article was made available online on September 14, 2020 as a Fast Track article with title: "Deflecting the Issue: The Origin of Nanoscale Material Build-up in Continuous Inkjet Printing".

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  • The Journal of Imaging Science and Technology (JIST) is dedicated to the advancement of imaging science knowledge, the practical applications of such knowledge, and how imaging science relates to other fields of study. The pages of this journal are open to reports of new theoretical or experimental results, and to comprehensive reviews. Only original manuscripts that have not been previously published, nor currently submitted for publication elsewhere, should be submitted.

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    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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