Numerical simulations of the thermal inkjet (TIJ) droplet ejection process are performed. The computational approach is based on a volume of fluid (VOF) formulation. This method allows determining the coupled flow and thermal fields in the firing chamber in addition to the phase change processes that take place during the drive bubble formation, expansion, and collapse. The drive bubble pressure is a result of the phase change heat transfer during the heating pulse and is not imposed by a pressure heuristic approach. A commercially available TIJ architecture was chosen as a baseline to assess the computational model predictions of ejected droplet volume and droplet velocity during a firing cycle. These computational model predictions were compared to experimental results demonstrating an excellent agreement. The transient histories of pressure in the vapor bubble, temperature, and heat transfer rate to the fluid are analyzed to explain some of the relevant physical processes observed.

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