A combined experimental and computational study of the transfer of transparent index-matched silica-particle inks between two flat plates is presented for gravure printing applications. The influence of printing speed and initial ink droplet size on the ability to accurately transfer ink during the printing process is explored systematically. Smooth interface volume of fluid simulations show the same trends as the ink transfer observed in experiments over a wide range of printing speeds and for inks having different silica particle loadings. Our calculations indicate that for ink droplets with characteristic dimensions in the vicinity of 10 μm, which are of particular interest for gravure printing applications, ink transfer improves significantly due to the diminishing effect of gravity, and the increased importance of capillary forces at small length scales.
- computational fluid dynamics
- fluid mechanics