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Printing Stable Liquid Tracks on a Surface with Finite Receding Contact Angle

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posted on 17.12.2015, 05:23 by Wen-Kai Hsiao, Graham D. Martin, Ian M. Hutchings
We have used high-speed imaging to study the formation of liquid tracks on a surface with nonzero receding contact angle, by the sequential deposition of liquid drops. For small drop spacing we found good agreement with the track morphology predicted by an existing line stability model. In addition, we confirmed definitively the preferential drop-to-bead fluid flow and the predicted drop spreading variation in the scalloped line and paired bead formation regimes. However, we found that without accounting for drop impact inertia, the model underestimated the maximum drop spreading radii and, hence, the instantaneous track width. In addition, the printed track became stable at larger drop spacing, in contrast to the expected behavior. We believe that the destabilizing effect of a receding contact line may be minimized when track radii, as predicted by volume conservation and drop–bead coalescence dynamics, converge as the drop spacing increases. An increase in viscous dissipation and a reduction of the capillary-driven flow may be the additional stabilization mechanisms. The latter may also be responsible for achieving a stable and symmetrical track when printing with a shorter interval (higher print frequency) at a given drop spacing.