Browse Prior Art Database

Waste Ink Collector With Overfill Indicator

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000039014D
Original Publication Date: 1987-Apr-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Feb-01
Document File: 2 page(s) / 44K

Publishing Venue

IBM

Related People

Wilson, TE: AUTHOR

Abstract

Disclosed is a device for collecting waste ink. The device prevents the collected waste ink from spilling even when the device is inverted. A visual indication that the device is full is provided. Waste ink is regularly generated in ink-jet printers during startup and maintenance procedures. Typical waste collection systems trap waste ink in a reservoir. Surface tension prevents the free waste ink from flowing reliably in small channels. Also, waste ink can sometimes leak from the reservoir, especially if the reservoir is inverted or overfilled. Another type of waste-collection method collects waste ink in an absorbent pad. One implementation transports the ink to the pad through a small channel by means of a mechanical pump.

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Waste Ink Collector With Overfill Indicator

Disclosed is a device for collecting waste ink. The device prevents the collected waste ink from spilling even when the device is inverted. A visual indication that the device is full is provided. Waste ink is regularly generated in ink-jet printers during startup and maintenance procedures. Typical waste collection systems trap waste ink in a reservoir. Surface tension prevents the free waste ink from flowing reliably in small channels. Also, waste ink can sometimes leak from the reservoir, especially if the reservoir is inverted or overfilled. Another type of waste-collection method collects waste ink in an absorbent pad. One implementation transports the ink to the pad through a small channel by means of a mechanical pump. The ink is safely contained in the pad until saturation is reached, but ink added beyond the pad's saturation point will not be retained by the pad and leaking can occur. The disclosed device absorbs the waste ink directly so that waste ink does not exist as a free liquid in the stystem. This eliminates the need for a pump or special channel design for ink transport. The waste ink is stored in an absorbent pad so that leaking cannot occur even when the device is inverted. To avoid overfilling the absorbent reservoir in the device, a visual indication is provided to show that the device is full. The disclosed device provides a clean, leak-free means of collecting waste ink. Referring to the figure, the waste ink is absorbed by wick 1 and is transported to an absorbent core in a container 2 by capillary action. The in...