The jetting performance of dye inks determines the image quality, production efficiency, and lifetime of the print head. In the present study, we explored the jetting performance of mixed solutions of polyethylene glycol (PEG) and reactive dye by testing the visible absorption spectra, rheological properties, and surface tension, in addition to the observation of droplet formation. The results indicate that PEG macromolecules could change the aggregate groups of Red 218 molecules into smaller ones through hydrophobic interactions and separation effect. The addition of PEG into the dye solution increased the viscosity and decreased the surface tension. In the whole shear rate range tested, the 10% and 20% PEG400, as well as the 30% PEG200 dye solutions, showed good Newtonian fluid behavior. PEG macromolecules improved the droplet formation of the dye solutions. Increasing the PEG400 concentration to 30% and 40% resulted in elimination of the formation of satellites and the formation of ideal droplets at 10,000 Hz jetting frequency. A 30% PEG600-dye solution with the Z
value of 4.6 formed the best spherical droplets at 10,000 Hz and produced perfect color images on cotton fabrics.
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