Solved: one of the ink-jet printing industry's greatest challenges

Scientists at the IfM have developed a method for predicting whether a filament of fluid will condense along its length into a single droplet, or collapse into multiple droplets.

The research, published in the journal Physical Review Letters, could aid in designing processes for paint-spraying, ink-jet printing and the dispersion of drugs for inhalation.



Dr Alfonso Arturo Castrejon-Pita, first author of the paper, said: “For the first time in an experimental and quantitative way, the ultimate behaviour of a filament under nothing but the action of viscous and surface tension forces has been explored.”


One of the greatest challenges facing the ink-jet printing industry is to develop print-heads that are capable of generating “clean” single, uniform size droplets within a large range of fluid properties (viscosity, surface tension).


Led by Professor Ian Hutchings, the team developed a large-scale, fully controlled model of a print-head to recreate the process of droplet generation.


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Date published

28 March 2012

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