Research Papers: Flows in Complex Systems

Experimental Characterization and Simulation of a Piezo-Actuated Micro Dispensing Valve

[+] Author and Article Information
Bastian Bonhoeffer

Novartis Pharma AG,
Technical R&D,
P.O. Box,
Basel CH-4002, Switzerland
e-mail: bastian.bonhoeffer@novartis.com

Marlon Boldrini

Institute of Computational Physics,
Zurich University of Applied Sciences,
P.O. Box,
Winterthur 8401, Switzerland
e-mail: bolm@zhaw.ch

Gernot Boiger

Institute of Computational Physics,
Zurich University of Applied Sciences,
P.O. Box,
Winterthur 8401, Switzerland
e-mail: boig@zhaw.ch

Arno Kwade

Institute of Particle Technology,
TU Braunschweig,
Braunschweig 38106, Germany
e-mail: a.kwade@tu-braunschweig.de

Michael Juhnke

Novartis Pharma AG,
Technical R&D,
P.O. Box,
Basel CH-4002, Switzerland
e-mail: michael.juhnke@novartis.com

1Corresponding author.

Contributed by the Fluids Engineering Division of ASME for publication in the JOURNAL OF FLUIDS ENGINEERING. Manuscript received April 6, 2016; final manuscript received December 14, 2016; published online March 20, 2017. Assoc. Editor: Mhamed Boutaous.

J. Fluids Eng 139(5), 051105 (Mar 20, 2017) (9 pages) Paper No: FE-16-1220; doi: 10.1115/1.4035634 History: Received April 06, 2016; Revised December 14, 2016

The dispensing behavior of a piezo-actuated micro-valve that closes the gap between the nanoliter range (e.g., inkjet technology) and the microliter range (e.g., standard displacement technology) has been investigated by experimental and numerical means. Water and different Newtonian model fluids with defined fluid properties were utilized for experimental characterization. The dispensed amount per single dispensing event could be freely adjusted from a few nanoliters to several hundred microliters showing the large working range and flexibility of the micro-valve, while maintaining a high accuracy with a low relative standard deviation. A correlation between fluid properties, dispensing parameters, and the resulting steady-state mass flow was established, showing good consistency of the experimental data. Furthermore, a three-dimensional numerical model for the quantitative simulation of the micro-valve's dispensing behavior regarding fluid mass flow was developed and validated, showing a high degree of correspondence between the experiments and simulations. Investigations of the transient behavior after the opening of the micro-valve revealed a nonlinear relationship between the valve opening time and dispensed mass for short opening times. This behavior was dependent on the working pressure but independent of the type of fluid.

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Fig. 2

Gravimetric measurement of the dispensed mass

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Fig. 3

Image sequence (left to right) from a high-speed camera showing the dispensing into a vial containing Dodecane at low (top row) and high (bottom row) working pressure using a white fluid for visualization

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Fig. 1

Operating principle of the micro-valve

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Fig. 5

Meshed geometry of the dispensing device, featuring 370.000 hexahedral cells (left) and definition of boundary patches (right)

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Fig. 4

Focus of qualitative and quantitative modeling approaches

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Fig. 6

Experimental steady-state mass flow against working pressure for water in comparison to WGE mixtures with a surface tension of 40 mN/m (left) and 60 mN/m (right) and viscosity of 4, 7, and 10 mPa·s

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Fig. 8

Scanning electron microscopy (SEM) images of the outlet of the micro-valve nozzle

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Fig. 7

Experimental relative standard deviation (RSD) of the dispensed mass at 100 ms (left) and 1000 ms (right) opening time

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Fig. 11

Simulated transient dispensing effects of water for 20 kPa and 350 kPa working pressure

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Fig. 12

Steady-state mass flow against working pressure, experimental (full lines) and simulated (dotted lines) values of water and WGE X-40 mixtures

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Fig. 13

Steady-state mass flow against working pressure, experimental (full lines), and simulated (dotted lines) values of water and WGE X-60 mixtures

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Fig. 10

Qualitative model results of droplet- (left), stable jet- (center), and unstable jet- (right) regimes. Coloration corresponds to the local volume fraction of dosing liquid, alpha.

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Fig. 14

Relative deviations of simulated steady-state mass flow to experimental values against working pressure for water and all WGE mixtures

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Fig. 9

Experimental results: Ratio between the dispensed mass per opening time and the steady-state mass flow against opening time, showing the nonlinear behavior at 50 kPa (top), 200 kPa (mid), and 350 kPa (bottom) working pressure



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