At the COMSOL Conference 2014 Cambridge, Peter Boltryk and Mani Sivaramakrishnan shared their work on simulating piezoelectric acoustic actuators for industrial inkjet printheads at Xaar.
In this keynote speech, they explain the method of actuation and how they have used COMSOL Multiphysics simulation software to optimize design parameters with respect to a target performance. In particular, Boltryk and Sivaramakrishnan describe how simulation has guided design by allowing them to understand the coupled acoustic, fluid, and thermal behavior present in the actuators.
They discuss their use of COMSOL FEA software to generate nozzle flow rates and droplet ejection calculations, analyze fluid-structure interaction (FSI), investigate the droplet formation process, and simulate wall displacements, pressure waves, and mechanical crosstalk in the inkjet channels. Lastly, they discuss narrow channel equations, the piezoelectric response coupled to elastic material behavior, and frequency-dependent droplet properties.