Browse Prior Art Database

Fanfold Solvent Vapor Fuser

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000035801D
Original Publication Date: 1989-Aug-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Jan-28
Document File: 6 page(s) / 131K

Publishing Venue

IBM

Related People

Avritt, M: AUTHOR [+13]

Abstract

The fuser's component layout is shown in the side view of Fig. 1. Paper web 10 enters the right side of the fuser after being lifted from the photoconductor belt at the transfer station (not shown). Tension on the paper holds the paper flat against support arch 11. Solvent vapor is applied to the paper and fusing is accomplished in vapor knife 12 and fuse zone 13, respectively. After exiting the fusing zone, the paper passes through drying section 14 where the bulk of the condensed solvent is removed from the paper. Web 10 then passes out of exit seal 15, through a tensioning scuff roll and to a refolder or other post- processor (not shown).

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Fanfold Solvent Vapor Fuser

The fuser's component layout is shown in the side view of Fig. 1. Paper web 10 enters the right side of the fuser after being lifted from the photoconductor belt at the transfer station (not shown). Tension on the paper holds the paper flat against support arch 11. Solvent vapor is applied to the paper and fusing is accomplished in vapor knife 12 and fuse zone 13, respectively. After exiting the fusing zone, the paper passes through drying section 14 where the bulk of the condensed solvent is removed from the paper. Web 10 then passes out of exit seal 15, through a tensioning scuff roll and to a refolder or other post- processor (not shown).

The paper web enters the fuser through a labyrinth-type inlet seal 16. A solvent concentration cascade is established from outside room environment to the higher fusing concentration at knife 12. Low concentration vapor from a condenser is introduced into one of the inlet seal chambers so as to augment the containment capabilities.

As the web passes over vapor knife 12, a curtain of relatively high concentration solvent vapor in air is impinged on the web's toned

(Image Omitted)

surface. A portion of the solvent condenses on the toner and paper. Solvent action on the toner softens the toner's plastic content, and allows the plastic to flow into the paper fibers.

After application of solvent by vapor knife 12, web 10 moves through a fuse zone 13 in which a high solvent concentration is maintained. In this zone, time is allowed for the solvent to diffuse into the toner particles and soften them. The softened particles then partially flow into and bond to the paper.

Web 10 and its vapor/air boundary layer then pass into drying section 14. High velocity air (see blower 17) is impinged, via floatation heads, against web
10. This action vaporizes the solvent present in the toner and web, and sweeps the solvent vapor away into a dryer exhaust stream. As the toned web leaves the dryer, it is essentially free of entrained solvent. The toner is then hardened and is permanently bonded to web 10.

(Image Omitted)

An exit seal 15 is provided to contain the low concentration solvent vapor in dryer 14. This is necessary to prevent boundary layer carryout of solvent with the web. The exit seal effectively "dead ends" the system so that the only opening to the outside environment is through inlet seal 16.

With reference to Figs. 2 and 3, high concentration solvent vapor 19, from vaporizer 18, is mixed with flow stream 20 from the dryer manifold to produce an appropriate concentration for fusing. Ultrasonic sensors 22, housed in vapor knife 12, are used to measure and control vapor concentration. Vapor knife 12 then applies this controlled concentration fusing mixture to the paper's surface.

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Concentration of the fusing mixture is controlled to maintain a constant temperature differential between the fusing mixture dewpoint and the incoming web. This temperature different...