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01-07-2010 | Technical Paper | Issue 7/2010

Microsystem Technologies 7/2010

Use of a PDMS spring element for ink jet printing applications

Journal:
Microsystem Technologies > Issue 7/2010
Authors:
S. Bargir, David M. Allen

Abstract

Results of the design, microfabrication and testing of a proof-of-concept, diaphragm-type silicone sealing joint are presented. DRIE-etched cavities were filled with a flexible sealing element made of polydimethylsiloxane that supports a silicon piston. A series of sealing joints were produced with variable widths, and the displacement of the piston was measured after applying pressures of up to 1 bar above atmospheric pressure in 0.2 bar increments. Two masks were designed to produce several sets of silicone springs with widths of 2–10.5 μm, each consisting of a 10 μm thick silicon piston that is 2 mm long. Tests performed on the shear spring joints were found to give a displacement of 0.5 μm at 1 bar when the sealing width is 6 μm or more. The sealing joint with a 10 μm width was found to give a displacement of 0.9 μm and an elastic recovery of 88%. The results showed this type of joint in the form of an elastically-deforming seal provides sufficient displacement for propelling liquid droplets as part of a liquid propulsion system.

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