The objective of this work is to forward a 3D computational fluid dynamics (CFD) model to explain the aerodynamics behind aerosol transport and deposition in aerosol jet printing (AJP). The CFD model allows for: (i) mapping of velocity fields as well as particle trajectories; and (ii) investigation of post-deposition phenomena of sticking, rebounding, spreading, and splashing. The complex geometry of the deposition head was modeled in the ANSYS-Fluent environment, based on a patented design as well as accurate measurements, obtained from 3D X-ray CT imaging. The entire volume of the geometry was subsequently meshed, using a mixture of smooth and soft quadrilateral elements, with consideration of layers of inflation to obtain an accurate solution near the walls. A combined approach — based on the density-based and pressure-based Navier-Stokes formation — was adopted to obtain steady-state solutions and to bring the conservation imbalances below a specified linearization tolerance (10−6). Turbulence was modeled, using the realizable k-ε viscose model with scalable wall functions. A coupled two-phase flow model was set up to track a large number of injected particles. The boundary conditions were defined based on experimental sensor data. A single-factor factorial experiment was conducted to investigate the influence of sheath gas flow rate (ShGFR) on line morphology, and also validate the CFD model.

This content is only available via PDF.
You do not currently have access to this content.