Year of Publication

2015

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Document Type

Doctoral Dissertation

College

Engineering

Department

Mechanical Engineering

First Advisor

Dr. Kozo Saito

Second Advisor

Dr. Nelson Akafuah

Abstract

This study is devoted to some of the most important issues for advancing inkjet printing for possible application in the coating industry with a focus on piezoelectric droplet on demand (DOD) inkjet technology. Current problems, as embodied in liquid filament breakup along with satellite droplet formation and reduction in droplet sizes, are discussed and then potential solutions identified. For satellite droplets, it is shown that liquid filament break-up behavior can be predicted by using a combination of two pi-numbers, including the Weber number, We and the Ohnesorge number, Oh, or the Reynolds number, Re, and the Weber number, We. All of these are dependent only on the ejected liquid properties and the velocity waveform at the print-head inlet. These new criteria are shown to have merit in comparison to currently used criteria for identifying filament physical features such as length and diameter that control the formation of subsequent droplets. In addition, this study performs scaling analyses for the design and operation of inkjet printing heads. Because droplet sizes from inkjet nozzles are typically on the order of nozzle dimensions, a numerical simulation is carried out to provide insight into how to reduce droplet sizes by employing a novel input waveform impressed on the print-head liquid inflow without changing the nozzle geometry. A regime map for characterizing the generation of small droplets based on We and a non-dimensional frequency, Ω is proposed and discussed. In an attempt to advance inkjet printing technology for coating purposes, a prototype was designed and then tested numerically. The numerical simulation successfully proved that the proposed prototype could be useful for coating purposes by repeatedly producing mono-dispersed droplets with controllable size and spacing. Finally, the influences of two independent piezoelectric characteristics - the maximum head displacement and corresponding frequency, was investigated to examine the quality of filament breakup quality and favorable piezoelectric displacements and frequencies were identified.

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