Tokyo, Japan (Scicasts) - Liquid jet is utilized in various key technologies such as inkjet printing. However, most methods can eject only low viscosity liquid, which has almost the same viscosity as water. This limitation causes blurring and dulls the colour of the ink. To solve these problems, the method of ejecting highly viscous liquid jet is required.

Researchers at Tokyo University of Agriculture and Technology have proposed a new device for generating microjet with high viscosity, such as honey.

To produce viscous liquid jets, researchers used an impulsive force i.e. the liquid jet was induced by adding an impact applied at the bottom of a liquid-filled container. Moreover, the device relies on additional trick: the wettable thin tube is inserted into the liquid, where liquid level inside the tube is kept lower than that outside the tube.

The researchers found that the liquid inside the tube is significantly accelerated thanks to this trick. As a result, their device can eject a liquid jet with high viscosity, which is over 1,000 times more viscous than water and has non-Newtonian properties such as nail polish.

The engineering team have also revealed the mechanism of their device action via conducting experiments and numerical simulations. The device overcomes the existing problems such as the limitation of viscosity and establishes the foundation for the next generation manufacturing such as 3D and biological printings.

Article adapted from a Tokyo University of Agriculture and Technology news release.

Publication: Microjet Generator for Highly Viscous Fluids. Onuki, H et al. Physical Review Applied (January 2018). Click here to view.