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Browse Prior Art Database

Improved Reflow Head Design

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000036248D
Original Publication Date: 1989-Sep-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Jan-28
Document File: 2 page(s) / 32K

Publishing Venue

IBM

Related People

Campbell, AS: AUTHOR

Abstract

Reflow of the ink in certain types of printing and typing ribbon extends the life of the ribbon by distributing the ink from unprinted areas into the printed areas so the ribbon can be printed another time. During reflow the ribbon slides over a head with the ink side contacting a surface of the head which is heated. The reflow head conventionally is a cylindrical shell of copper around a cartridge heater. Attached to the shell is a thermocouple which is used to sense and control the head temperature. It is useful to think of the length of ribbon contact with the head as being divided into three zones. First is the heating zone in which the ribbon is brought up to the temperature of the head as a result of heat transfer from the head.

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Improved Reflow Head Design

Reflow of the ink in certain types of printing and typing ribbon extends the life of the ribbon by distributing the ink from unprinted areas into the printed areas so the ribbon can be printed another time. During reflow the ribbon slides over a head with the ink side contacting a surface of the head which is heated. The reflow head conventionally is a cylindrical shell of copper around a cartridge heater. Attached to the shell is a thermocouple which is used to sense and control the head temperature. It is useful to think of the length of ribbon contact with the head as being divided into three zones. First is the heating zone in which the ribbon is brought up to the temperature of the head as a result of heat transfer from the head. The second is the reflow zone in which the now-liquid ink is distributed over the surface of the ribbon and fills in areas where ink was removed during printing. The third is the separation zone in which the ribbon moves away from the surface of the reflow head and the layer of ink is forced to separate between the part which stays on the head and the part which leaves with the ribbon. As the ink is pulled apart, it tends to string out prior to breaking. This stringing process tends to produce a texture on the surface of the ink which contributes to the non-uniformity of the thickness of the ink layer. The stringing can be reduced, and the ink texture improved, by increasing the rate of separation of the ink surfaces. For a fixed reflow speed the separation rate is a function of the radius at the point of separation with small radii producing the highest rates. In a circular cross-section head design the rate of separation is relatively slow...