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Layered Elastomeric Printhead for Use in Resistive-Ribbon Thermal-Transfer Printing

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000036435D
Original Publication Date: 1989-Sep-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Jan-29
Document File: 2 page(s) / 56K

Publishing Venue

IBM

Related People

Byrne, JC: AUTHOR [+3]

Abstract

This disclosure describes a resistive-ribbon thermal-transfer printhead made of alternating layers of electrically conductive and non-conductive rubber. This results in a lower cost, customer-replaceable printhead.

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Layered Elastomeric Printhead for Use in Resistive-Ribbon Thermal- Transfer Printing

This disclosure describes a resistive-ribbon thermal-transfer printhead made of alternating layers of electrically conductive and non-conductive rubber. This results in a lower cost, customer-replaceable printhead.

A schematic of a standard resistive-ribbon thermal-transfer printhead is shown in Fig. 1. The electrodes 1 are etched from a sheet of tungsten which is bonded by an adhesive 2 to a substrate 3 which is bonded to a rubber support 4. The rubber support is bonded to a rigid plastic shell 5. Parts 1-5, an expensive assembly, are thrown away when the contact points 6 of the electrodes with the ribbon 7 are excessively worn.

A schematic of the present invention is shown in Fig. 2. The disposable printhead is a composite piece of alternating layers of non-conductive rubber 8 and electrically conductive rubber 9, sliced from a larger, mass-produced slab. An edge 10 of the composite presents an alternating array of conductive and non-conductive elements which transfer electrical impulses through the ribbon and allow printing in much the same way as the standard printhead.

Electrical connections are made with a portion of the printhead that is not involved in the printing. With the proper design consideration for rotational symmetry about the axis 11, the composite can be rotated to allow printing at edges 12, 13, and 14, thus allowing extended life.

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