The purpose of this study is to propose a novel simulation framework and show that it captures the main effects of the deposition process, such as droplet shape, volume and speed. Design/methodology/approach
In the framework, the time-dependent flow and the fluid-structure interaction between the suspension, the moving piston and the deflection of the jetting head is simulated. The system is modelled as a two-phase system with the surrounding air being one phase and the dense suspension the other. The non-Newtonian suspension is modelled as a mixed single phase with properties determined from material testing. The simulations were performed with two coupled in-house solvers developed at Fraunhofer-Chalmers Centre; IBOFlow, a multiphase flow solver; and LaStFEM, a large strain FEM solver. Experimental deposition was performed with a commercial jet printer and quantitative measurements were made with optical profilometry.
Jetting behaviour was shown to be affected by not only piston motion, fluid rheology and head deformation but also the viscous energy loss in the jetting head nozzle. The simulation results were compared to experimental data obtained from an industrial jetting head and found to match characteristic lengths, speed and volume within ca 10%. Research limitations/implications
The simulations are based on a rheological description using the Carreau model that does not include a time-dependent relaxation of the fluid. This modelling approach limits the descriptive nature of the deposit after impact on the substrate. The simulation also adopts a continuum approach to the suspension, which will not accurately model the break-off of the droplet filament under the characteristic diameter of the particles in the suspension.
The ability to accurately simulate the deposition of functional materials will enable the efficient development of novel product designs with a minimum of used resources and minimised product development duration. Social implications
The ability to accurately simulate the deposition of functional materials will enable the efficient development of novel product designs with a minimum of used resources and therefore an improvement from a sustainability perspective. The ability to plan deposition strategies virtually will also enable a decrease in consumables at manufacturers which will in turn decrease their carbon foot print.
While basic fluid dynamic simulations have been performed to simulate flow through nozzles, the ability to include both fluid-structure interaction and multiphase capability together with a more accurate rheological description of the suspension and with a substrate for surface mount applications has not been published to the knowledge of the authors.