Piezo-driven inkjet systems are very sensitive to air entrapment. The entrapped air bubbles grow by rectified diffusion in the ink channel and finally result in nozzle failure. Experimental results on the dynamics of fully grown air bubbles are presented. It is found that the bubble counteracts the pressure buildup necessary for the droplet formation. The channel acoustics and the air bubble dynamics are modeled. For good agreement with the experimental data it is crucial to include the confined geometry into the model: The air bubble acts back on the acoustic field in the channel and thus on its own dynamics. This two-way coupling limits further bubble growth and thus determines the saturation size of the bubble.
Jeurissen, R., de Jong, J., Reinten, H., van den Berg, M., Wijshoff, H., Versluis, M., & Lohse, D. (2008). Effect of an entrained air bubble on the acoustics of an ink channel. Journal of the Acoustical Society of America, 123(5), 2496-2505. https://doi.org/10.1121/1.2835624