to pump ink via very thin tubes?

Discussion in 'General Science' started by JJoll, Jun 24, 2016.

  1. JJoll

    Thread Starter Member

    May 7, 2013
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    Hello everyone,

    I am working on a project and I ran out of ideas on how to implement one specific part. I am going to throw it here to get any help or ideas.

    So I am trying to convey liquid (more specifically: ink) from a bottle to 4 different bottles via bundle of very thin tubes. Each tube has: ID(inner diameter)=0.5mm and OD(outer diameter)=1.5mm and is 1 foot long.

    So It looks something like:

    http://imgur.com/uRhQ4h3

    As you can see there is bundle of tubes to carry the liquid. Each bundle will have somewhere around 40 to 50 tubes.

    How can I approach this? is it feasible? Do I have to use some sort of pump? How can I connect these bundle of thin tubes to a pump?

    Also I want to control the flow of ink to each bottle. What I mean is that I am NOT going to pump into all 4 bottles at the same time. For example, at a given time, I would like to pump into bottle 1 for 1 sec then stop it and then pump to bottle 3 for 2 sec and then stop it. So I thought I might have to use a microcontroller such as arduino to control 4 pumps, is this an efficient way of doing it? Or can I design a system that utilizes only one pump?

    I have never used pumps before I need some guidance on how to approach this task.

    Thanks in advance,
     
  2. joeyd999

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  3. bertus

    Administrator

    Apr 5, 2008
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    Hello,

    I would clean the tubes after use, as ink may get hard in the tubing and block the tubing.

    Bertus
     
  4. KL7AJ

    AAC Fanatic!

    Nov 4, 2008
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    That's just what I was gonna say. Also look under "microdosimeters."
     
  5. BR-549

    Well-Known Member

    Sep 22, 2013
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    When I first read your post I thought peristaltic pump also. But that's a lot of tubes to control individually.

    You might consider pressurizing an ink reservoir, and using a manifold of values.

    Is the retention time of ink in tubes of concern? Is rinsing the tubes necessary? Will this be in continuous operation?
     
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  6. GopherT

    AAC Fanatic!

    Nov 23, 2012
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    @JJoll

    Could you explain why you want each ink well to have 40 to 50 micro-tubes rather than one fat tube?

    Also, can the tubes be longer or is one foot the limit?

    What kind of vertical drop is their between origin and destination?
     
  7. GopherT

    AAC Fanatic!

    Nov 23, 2012
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    Depending on volume and flow rate you need, a syringe pump might be useful or parastaltic

    Here is a 4-channel syringe pump that can respond to external sensors (hi/low signals for downstream vials).

    $1500.00

    http://www.syringepump.com/NE-16001800.php
     
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  8. Alec_t

    AAC Fanatic!

    Sep 17, 2013
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    You could also consider using 'bubble-jet' technology, as is used in conventional printers.
     
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  9. jpanhalt

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    Jan 18, 2008
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    Need to know the flow rate wanted. What is the viscosity of the ink? Is the ink a particle suspension or solution? If suspension, particle size and distribution?

    John
     
  10. GenJacks

    New Member

    May 15, 2016
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  11. Wendy

    Moderator

    Mar 24, 2008
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    I like the syringe idea, very precise control and very high pressures.
     
  12. JJoll

    Thread Starter Member

    May 7, 2013
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    -Because in my actual project I am NOT planning to put all the 50 micro-tubes in 1 bottle (as I mentioned in the post). In the actual project these 50 tubes will go inside a bucket that is consist of 50 different mini Pyrex Glass Test Tubes, and each string is supposed to go inside 1 test tube.
    -yes, tubes could be longer or a little bit shorter. the 1 foot is approximation.
    - approximately 1 foot or less. Basically the vertical drop/distance will be approximatelysame as length of each tube
     
  13. JJoll

    Thread Starter Member

    May 7, 2013
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    I will be using normal ink. I am hopping to be able to use different colors of ink, Based on this website:
    http://www.viscopedia.com/viscosity-tables/substances/ink/
    each color has different viscosity.
    I am not sure what is suspension but I think a regular ink is considered to be solution (if I am not wrong)
     
  14. jpanhalt

    AAC Fanatic!

    Jan 18, 2008
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    Regular ink can be either pigment or dye.

    Here is your initial description:
    At [1], you describe transferring from one bottle to 4 bottles via a "bundle"of tubes.
    At [2]. you show multiple tubes going to each bottle from the same reservoir.
    upload_2016-6-27_16-20-15.png

    At [3], you describe each bunble as being 40 to 50 tubes.

    Then you state in Post #12:
    That statement is ambiguous. It can be read to mean that a statement to that effect was included in your original post. Alternatively, it can be read to mean that you are correcting the original post.

    I find the description in your two posts quite confusing. You need to be less vague and more detailed about what you need to do.

    Regards, John
     
  15. GopherT

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    Nov 23, 2012
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    Do you think the syringe pump idea will work for you (and your budget)? Or do you need other advice?
     
  16. JJoll

    Thread Starter Member

    May 7, 2013
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    sorry to confuse you. I am trying to break down the project to the simpler parts/steps. The project description has not changed. My goal is to accomplish what I mentioned in my original post. I just explained in more details on why I need to have 40 to 50 micro-tubes rather than one fat and thick tube. And that is because each micro-tube will have to go inside 50 smaller bottles inside each big bottle/bucket.
     
  17. JJoll

    Thread Starter Member

    May 7, 2013
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    Up to this point, I think syringe pump is the most viable and easiest solution to try. I will try doing that as my next step. There has been may good recommendations. Thanks everyone.
     
  18. jpanhalt

    AAC Fanatic!

    Jan 18, 2008
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    If you want simultaneous, equal-volumetric delivery into 50, small tubes (e.g., a "microtiter plate"), that will be difficult with the design you have shown. What volume do you want to dispense into each small tube? Small to me is between 0.1 uL and a several uL, say 10 uL at most. From 10 uL and up, then a pump becomes more practical. Is there any pre-existing fluid (e.g., a diluent) in each of the small tubes?

    You have yet to tell us the volume of "ink" you want to deliver and over what period you want that delivery to be made. Do you know, or is that a secret? Are you really pumping ink or living cells?

    John
     
    Last edited: Jun 28, 2016
  19. wayneh

    Expert

    Sep 9, 2010
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    Fluid rheology is more than viscosity. I'd invest a bit more work to learn the pumping properties of your inks. Are they Newtonian fluids? Paint is thixotropic, for instance, meaning it thins under shear but sets up when it hits a surface. A starch solution is dilatant, which means it can solidify under shear but flow easily at low shear. Things like surface tension and capillary action may have big impacts on your scheme.

    That all said, a hole of 1mm or more is "large" for ink.

    I like the idea of a positive displacement pump (like a syringe, but there are others such as micro pipettes). Peristaltic pumps are also very workable and tend to be cheaper. You can get pump heads that pump multiple lines at the same time, if that would help.
     
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