Systems, Analysis and Computational Sciences

Discontinuous Galerkin Finite Element Methods for Inkjet Droplet Simulations


Funded by:

Ministry of Economic Affairs, The Netherlands


Tatyana Medvedeva


Prof. Jaap van der Vegt / Dr. Onno Bokhove


Prof. Dr. Detlef Lohse (Physics of Fluids group); · Prof. Dr. Frieder Mugele (Physics of Complex Fluids group)


Inkjet devices must produce a steady flow of very small droplets. Understanding and control of the break-up of the ink flow into small droplets is crucial for the proper design of inkjet printers. This also requires that the effects of the surrounding air, printer head motion and other disturbances are taken into account, which requires detailed numerical simulations and comparisons with experiments. This is particularly important for new applications such as inkjet printing of electronic circuits, which impose more demanding quality requirements than for printing on paper.  Current numerical simulation techniques for inkjet printing are limited in terms of accuracy and efficiency and not able to model all relevant details of inkjet flow and its break-up into droplets. In this project a new discontinous Galerkin finite element method, which uses a combination of cut cell elements and level set techniques, will be extended to simulate the break-up of a liquid jet into small droplets. This requires in particular new techniques for computing the free surface phenomena at the liquid-air interface.