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Developing mathematical theories of the physical world: Open Access research on fluid dynamics from Strathclyde

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The design of a droplet ejector

Grassia, P. (1999) The design of a droplet ejector. Journal of Fluids Engineering, 121 (3). pp. 658-664. ISSN 0098-2202

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Abstract

A model is developed describing a novel ink jet printer driven by a piezoelectric component used to eject a fluid droplet through a rubber valve. The model is analyzed to address specific printer design issues. Rapid droplet production and efficient conversion of piezoelectric energy to droplet kinetic energy are ensured by suitable choices of the ejector geometry and the voltage step used to produce the droplet. A parameter regime is found in which a resonance prevents the valve from closing properly, and this particular regime must be avoided for correct printer operation. By choosing a suitable voltage signal after the production of an ink droplet, the device is returned rapidly to its initial or quiescent state.