Dawn Api


The purpose of the present experimental work is to determine the surface tension of various surfactant solutions using the capillary method and observe droplet ejection behavior for these solutions in order to define the correlation between the two. The present work examines the role of surfactants in inkjet printing. One of the most important properties of inkjet ink is surface tension, and surfactants are used in ink to control this property. Specifically studied in this investigation are different concentrations of the surfactants ethylene glycol dimethacrylate and sodium lauryl sulfate. Surfactants have been ejected using a piezo inkjet printhead, and the behavior of the resulting droplets has been studied with respect to their geometry, repeatability, and potential effect on print quality. All behavior is related to surface tension, so this property has been experimentally determined for all concentrations of surfactant using the capillary method. A commercial grade ink was used as a baseline against which to judge different surfactant concentration droplet behavior. Surfactants having too low of a surface tension showed problems with ingestion (air bubbles in the exit nozzles) and droplet geometry, while those surfactants with excessively high surface tension had difficulty firing at all. The 8.6% ethylene glycol surfactant displayed characteristics most similar to the baseline commercial ink sample.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Ink-jet printing--Quality control; Surface active agents; Capillarity

Publication Date


Document Type


Department, Program, or Center

Mechanical Engineering (KGCOE)


Kandlikar, Satish

Advisor/Committee Member

Nye, Alan

Advisor/Committee Member

Kochersberger, Kevin


Note: imported from RIT’s Digital Media Library running on DSpace to RIT Scholar Works. Physical copy available through RIT's The Wallace Library at: Z252.5.I48 A6 1999


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