Next Generation Inkjet Technology: Research Activities
Cambridge, Institute for Manufacturing Inkjet Research Centre
Professor Ian Hutchings Dr Graham Martin
The centre is currently focussed on recording and visualising the performance of inkjet print heads for comparison with the results from the other studies and modelling.
Cambridge, Chemical Engineering
Professor Malcolm Mackley
Cambridge Chemical Engineering will compare and measure the rheology and dynamic surface tension of relevant fluids at the very high rates of deformation experienced in inkjet printers. The effects of dissolved gases, particles, colloids and agglomerations will be considered.
Cambridge, Applied Mathematics and Theoretical Physics (DAMTP)
Professor John Hinch
In collaboration with Leeds, DAMTP will provide analytical and computational modelling and interpretation to link the viscoelastic and dynamic surface tension properties of the fluids to experimental measurements on real inkjet.
Professor Brian Derby
Manchester will study the generation, impact and spreading of ink-jet generated droplets on a range of substrates focussing on the behaviour of relatively complex fluids (e.g. highly loaded particulate suspensions, latexes and polymer solutions). Manchester will also consider resolution improvement using patterned areas of hydrophobic and hydrophilic surfaces. These will be investigated using modelling and experiment with model systems.
Professor Colin Bain
Two experimental platforms, the overflowing cylinder, and a liquid jet combined with Laser Doppler Velocimetry are being used to look at the dynamic surface tension and hence the shear stress at the free liquid surface and the effects of mass transport of surfactants near the nozzle in a forming liquid jet. This will include direct measurements of flow profiles in the jet.
Professor Tom McLeish, Dr Oliver Harlan
As well as the mathematical modelling collaboration with DAMTP, Leeds will be looking at ink component molecular structure. Once the rheology of typical inkjet fluids is adequately understood the aim is to establish ways to re-design the fluids at the molecular level so as to improve printing performance. Leeds will build on existing experience to create molecular structure predictions for rheology that meet the target challenges of the programme.
Professor Ken Walters
At Aberystwyth techniques such as the Worthington jet are being used to investigate the effects of small amounts of high molecular weight materials in inkjet inks.