[Journal of Micromechanics and Microengineering] Inkjet 3D printed check microvalve
3D printing enables fast and relatively easy fabrication of various microfluidic structures including microvalves. A check microvalve is the simplest valve enabling control of the fluid flow in microchannels. Proper operation of the check valve is ensured by a movable element that tightens the valve seat during backward flow and enables free flow for forward pressure. Thus, knowledge of the mechanical properties of the movable element is crucial for optimal design and operation of the valve. In this paper, we present for the first time the results of investigations on basic mechanical properties of the building material used in multijet 3D printing. Specified mechanical properties were used in the design and fabrication of two types of check microvalve—with deflecting or hinge-fixed microflap—with 200 µm and 300 µm thickness. Results of numerical simulation and experimental data of the microflap deflection were obtained and compared. The valves were successfully 3D printed and characterised. Opening/closing characteristics of the microvalve for forward and backward pressures were determined. Thus, proper operation of the check microvalve so developed was confirmed.
Rafał Walczak, Krzysztof Adamski and Danylo Lizanets Published 10 March 2017 • © 2017 IOP Publishing Ltd Journal of Micromechanics and Microengineering, Volume 27, Number 4