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Analysis of droplet stability after ejection from an inkjet nozzle

  • Yonghong Zhong (a1), Haisheng Fang (a1), Qianli Ma (a1) and Xuran Dong (a1)

Abstract

Inkjet technology is a commendable tool in many applications including graphics printing, bioengineering and micro-electromechanical systems (MEMS). Droplet stability is a key factor influencing inkjet performance. The stability can be analysed using dimensionless numbers that usually combine thermophysical properties and system dimensions. In this paper, a drop-on-demand (DOD) inkjet experimental system is established. A numerical model is developed to investigate the influence of the operating conditions on droplet stability, including nozzle dimensions, driving parameters (the pulse amplitude and width used to drive droplet formation) and fluid properties. The results indicate that the stability can be improved by decreasing the pulse amplitude and width, decreasing the fluid density and viscosity or increasing the nozzle diameter and fluid surface tension. Based on case analysis and modelling, a dimensionless number ( $Z$ ), the reciprocal of the Ohnesorge number, is numerically determined for a stable droplet to lie in a range between 4 and 8. To explicitly combine the driving parameters, a new stability criterion, $Pj$ , is further proposed. A general rule taking into account both $Pj$ and $Z$ is proposed for choosing appropriate driving parameters to eject stable droplets for a known nozzle and fluid, which is further validated by experiments.

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Corresponding author

Email address for correspondence: hafang@hust.edu.cn

References

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Analysis of droplet stability after ejection from an inkjet nozzle

  • Yonghong Zhong (a1), Haisheng Fang (a1), Qianli Ma (a1) and Xuran Dong (a1)

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