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SEGMENTED RADIANT HEAT DRYER WITH CLOSED-LOOP CONTROL FOR THERMAL INK JET PRINTERS

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000027087D
Original Publication Date: 1995-Apr-30
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2004-Apr-07
Document File: 2 page(s) / 142K

Publishing Venue

Xerox Disclosure Journal

Abstract

A radiant dryer, in an ink jet printer, can be used effectively to dry the ink on a final printed image. Proposed is the implementation of a plurality of radiant energy sources distributed over the area to be dried. Alternatively, a single segmented radiant energy source is proposed wherein segmentation is achieved by appropriate blocking or filtering. Knowledge concerning coverage of the ink distribution provides a means to selectively control the amount of radiant energy required to dry the image. The proposed radiant sources provide an improvement that prevents scorching of non-printed areas and/or incomplete drying of areas possessing heavy ink coverage.

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XEROX DISCLOSURE JOURNAL

SEGMENTED RADIANT HEAT Proposed Classification DRYER WITH CLOSED-LOOP U.S. C1.346/140 CONTROL FOR THERMAL INK JET
PRINTERS
Peter A. Torepy

Int. C1. Gold 15/18

A radiant dryer, in an ink jet printer, can be used effectively to dry the ink on a final printed image. Proposed is the implementation of a plurality of radiant energy sources distributed over the area to be dried. Alternatively, a single segmented radiant energy source is proposed wherein segmentation is achieved by appropriate blocking or filtering. Knowledge concerning coverage of the ink distribution provides a means to selectively control the amount of radiant energy required to dry the image. The proposed radiant sources provide an improvement that prevents scorching of non-printed areas and/or incomplete drying of areas possessing heavy ink coverage.

In a first embodiment, the radiant energy source comprises a plurality of small lamps or heat sources. The radiant sources are positioned end-to-end, so as to partition a dryer into zones. Energy, from the plurality of sources, is varied independently in response to the ink coverage distributed over the image area passing through the corresponding zones. For example, if a heavily inked area is passed through a particular zone, a single corresponding source can be fully activated to maximize the drying rate. Conversely, the single source can be fully deactivated when a non-printed area passes through the zone so as to prevent scorching of the area. The output of the source can be automatically adjusted between full "on" and "off to dry any imaged area affected by the source. A similar control strategy can be implemented to operate the other sources comprising the radiant dryer. In this way, the drying effectiveness is customized by each segment of the dryer, for each area of the image.

In a second embodiment, a single and narrow lamp or heat source is employed. In this embodiment however, the drying zone is separated into segments by a series of independently controlled metal louvers, shutters, or other mechanisms for selectively shutting off the flow of energy from the lamp to heat source and to the paper. The use of a plurality of metal louvers or shutters is preferred since the metal will reflect energy back to a lamp cavity rather than absorb energy and heat up. The shutters may be mechanical in nature, or comprise any electro-optical or other devices that may block and/or ref...