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THERMAL INK JET MAINTENANCE CAP WITH PIEZOELECTRIC ELEMENT FOR HUMIDIFICATION

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000027512D
Original Publication Date: 1997-Jun-30
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2004-Apr-08
Document File: 2 page(s) / 74K

Publishing Venue

Xerox Disclosure Journal

Abstract

Proposed is a thermal ink jet maintenance cap that provides a high humidity environment around ink jet nozzles to maintain ink functionality. Without the high humidity environment, water evaporates from the ink, changing its properties and potentially plugging the nozzles. The current configuration uses specially designed passages to channel the maintenance fluid into close proximity with the nozzles. This allows the remaining gap between the maintenance fluid and ink jet nozzles to be humidified quickly. However, the design is limited by cap orientation, distance from the nozzles, and vapor pressure of the maintenance fluid. For example, if the fluid is contaminated by the ink, the cap humidity and functionality are dramatically reduced.

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XEROX DISCLOSURE JOURNAL

THERMAL INK JET MAINTENANCE CAP WITH PIEZOELECTRIC ELEMENT FOR HUMIDIFICATION Int. C1. B41j 02/165 Brian S. Hilton

Proposed Classification
U. S. C1. 347/029

Proposed is a thermal ink jet maintenance cap that provides a high humidity environment around ink jet nozzles to maintain ink functionality. Without the high humidity environment, water evaporates from the ink, changing its properties and potentially plugging the nozzles. The current configuration uses specially designed passages to channel the maintenance fluid into close proximity with the nozzles. This allows the remaining gap between the maintenance fluid and ink jet nozzles to be humidified quickly. However, the design is limited by cap orientation, distance from the nozzles, and vapor pressure of the maintenance fluid. For example, if the fluid is contaminated by the ink, the cap humidity and functionality are dramatically reduced.

The proposed maintenance cap requires a centralized cavity with a piezoelectric element, similar to that of an ultrasonic humidifier. The centralized cavity can be connected to multiple capping seals for multicolor printing and does not rely on orientation or rotation to move the maintenance fluid close to the ink jet nozzles. Adiabatic saturation of the entire chamber is achieved by evaporation of a large excess of maintenance fluid sprayed by the piezoelectric element. This has the advantage of speed and a high vapor density which is relatively ind...