Inkjet printing is a rapidly growing commercial process for applications that depend on precisely patterning micro-scale droplets. These applications increasingly require complex fluids, introducing viscoelastic properties which play an important role in droplet formation. The objective of this study is to determine how to obtain single, uniform and spherical (“successful”) droplets from aqueous solutions of sodium alginate with a piezoelectric drop-on-demand printing method. In order to control the volume and velocities of droplets, the effect on the droplet formation of the characteristics of the waveform such as voltage amplitude and dwell time is studied. The results depend also on the fluid rheology. The viscosity of the chosen fluid is a function of the concentration, as the viscoelastic properties increase at higher concentration. In this paper, the droplet formation process is characterized in terms of both the waveform and the rheological properties of the solution. The characterization of the fluids and waveform will be pursued first and the droplet formation and its control will be studied. Finally, the results will be presented with a map in ranges of the Ohnesorge, Deborah and Weber numbers.
Experiments in Fluids – Springer Journals
Published: Jun 5, 2013
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