Printing High Viscosity Fluids using Ultrasonic Droplet Generation

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Date

2008-09-10

Authors

Rosen, David W.
Margolin, Lauren
Vohra, Sanjay

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Abstract

A new printing technology based on ultrasonic actuation (~1 MHz) is presented that has the potential to print high viscosity fluids. In this paper, we describe the print-head’s operating principles and construction. Acoustic focusing in the nozzles produces high pressure gradients that help eject the fluid which, under the proper conditions, forms droplets. Two types of models are presented to attempt to predict print-head behavior over a range of conditions. The first model borrows from simple fully developed, laminar flows to estimate printing conditions based on fluid properties, as well as printing pressures. The second model captures the dynamic behavior of the print-head to estimate cavity resonances that lead to acoustic focusing and potentially droplet generation. We report on experiments with several types of fluids that demonstrate the technology’s potential.

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