The Inkjet Research Centre (IRC) was established in March 2005, strongly supported by a group of UK companies, to carry out research into the generic science which underlies this important technology. The Centre is part of the Institute for Manufacturing in the Engineering Department of the University of Cambridge. The IRC houses experts in ink-jet technology, fluid mechanics, visualisation, analysis and computation to study jet and drop creation, drop flight and drop/surface interaction.
The Centre also has interests in the application of ink-jet to fabrication, the printing of functional materials and biological components. Staff at the IRC collaborate closely with colleagues in other disciplines, elsewhere in Cambridge and in other universities. The Centre has developed very high resolution (temporal and spatial) imaging techniques along with image and data analysis methods, and these studies, combined with rheological measurements and computational fluid dynamics, provide a rich insight into ink-jet performance and the behaviour of these complex systems.
The IRC currently leads a five-year programme, I4T (Innovation in industrial inkjet technology)which involves collaboration with colleagues in the Departments of Chemical Engineering and Applied Mathematics and Theoretical Physics at Cambridge, and at the Universities of Durham and Leeds.