Experiments were done to determine conditions under which vertical columns could be built by metal droplets landing sequentially on top of each other. Molten tin droplets (0.6 mm diameter) were deposited using a pneumatic droplet generator on an aluminum substrate. The primary parameters varied in experiments were those found to most affect bonding between droplets: droplet temperature (250°C to 345°C), substrate temperature (60°C to 200°C) and deposition rate (1 Hz to 15 Hz). At lower deposition rates the substrate cooled down too much to induce remelting whereas at higher rates the tip of the column remained liquid and surface tension forces pulled it into a spherical mass. Assuming one-dimensional conductive heat transfer in a column a simple analytical model was developed to calculate the temperature at the tips of the column. It predicts that deposition frequency should be decreased as column height increases to hold the tip temperature constant. Droplet coalescence was best achieved when the tip temperature of a column was maintained at the melting point of the metal. Columns fabricated following the deposition frequency predicted by the model show good bonding between droplets and uniform diameter.

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