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PROCESS FOR MINIMIZING INK TANK LEAKAGE

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000027750D
Original Publication Date: 1999-Jun-30
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2004-Apr-09
Document File: 4 page(s) / 154K

Publishing Venue

Xerox Disclosure Journal

Abstract

In an ink jet printer, an ink tank and printhead may be combined into an integral printhead cartridge assembly. With this arrangement, once the ink has been spent, the entire cartridge is replaced. Since the printhead is still useable, this is an inefficient design for many applications. An alternate arrangement is to connect an ink outlet port of a detachable ink tank to a printhead via an ink manifold which includes an ink pipe which is seated within an outlet port. The pipe fluidly connects the ink, typically held in a porous material, typically foam, to the printhead. One problem associated with the detached ink tank design is that, under certain circumstances, ink can be expelled from the tank when the tank is connected to the printhead. This ink may migrate to an area which comes in contact with the user. This problem is particularly associated with ink tanks of the type where the ink tank has multiple chambers, including a front chamber containing the foam material fluidly connected to a rear chamber containing liquid ink. This type of ink tank is shown in the figure. When ink tanks of this type are filled, the entire tank is evacuated and ink is then forced into the rear chamber. Since the front chamber is connected to the rear chamber by an interconnecting passageway, ink also flows into the front chamber saturating the foam from the bottom up and fills a void which is present adjacent the outlet port. At the completion of the process, the foam is saturated with ink near the outlet port and near an air vent. If the tank is then coupled to the printhead via the ink manifold, there is a possibility that some ink will leak from the ink tank outlet or vent. Ink leakage is minimized by the following process.

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XEROX DISCLOSURE JOURNAL

PROCESS FOR MINIMIZING INK TANK LEAKAGE U. S. C1.346/140 Kenneth W. Altfather
Steven J. Diet1
Curtis Glenn Prince
David P. Breemes, Sr.

Proposed Classification

Int. C1. GOld 15/16

i

\

34

XEROX DISCLOSURE JOURNAL - Vol. 24, No. 3 May/June 1999 115

[This page contains 1 picture or other non-text object]

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PROCESS FOR MINIMIZING INK TANK LEAKAGE (Cont'd)

In an ink jet printer, an ink tank and printhead may be combined into an integral printhead cartridge assembly. With this arrangement, once the ink has been spent, the entire cartridge is replaced. Since the printhead is still useable, this is an inefficient design for many applications. An alternate arrangement is to connect an ink outlet port of a detachable ink tank to a printhead via an ink manifold which includes an ink pipe which is seated within an outlet port. The pipe fluidly connects the ink, typically held in a porous material, typically foam, to the printhead. One problem associated with the detached ink tank design is that, under certain circumstances, ink can be expelled from the tank when the tank is connected to the printhead. This ink may migrate to an area which comes in contact with the user. This problem is particularly associated with ink tanks of the type where the ink tank has multiple chambers, including a front chamber containing the foam material fluidly connected to a rear chamber containing liquid ink. This type of ink tank is shown in the figure. When ink tanks of this type are filled, the entire tank is evacuated and ink is then forced into the rear chamber. Since the front chamber is connected to the rear chamber by an interconnecting passageway, ink also flows into the front chamber saturating the foam from the bottom up and fills a void which is present adjacent the outlet port. At the completion of the process, the foam is saturated with ink near the outlet port and near an air vent. If the tank is then coupled to the printhead via the ink manifold, there is a possibility that some ink will leak from the ink tank outlet or vent. Ink leakage is minimized by the following process.

The figure shows an exploded view of one of the ink tanks 10 prior to being filled with ink. The tank 10 includes a housing consisting of two compartments 30, 32. A foam member 34 is compressively inserted into compartment 30 and a cover 36 is sealingly affixed to the open end of the tank. Cover 36 has an air vent 38 and an ink outlet port 40 formed therein. A sealing tape (not shown) is applied across port 40 and air vent 38. A vacuum is then applied to the ink tank, and ink is introduced into compartment 32 via inlet port 50. The ink enters compartment 30 and saturates foam member 34 in...