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Nozzles for Ink Jet Printers

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000045050D
Original Publication Date: 1983-Jan-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Feb-06
Document File: 1 page(s) / 12K

Publishing Venue

IBM

Related People

Crowley, JI: AUTHOR [+5]

Abstract

Nozzles for ink jet printers can be prepared by techniques such as etching single crystal silicon, drawing fine glass tubes, drilling holes in metal sheets, etc. Many ink formulations have lower surface energies than the nozzles used with them. These inks tend to spread on the face of the nozzle. To prevent this, the high-surface energy silicon nozzles can be coated with low-surface energy coatings. However, it is difficult to get these coatings to last.

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Nozzles for Ink Jet Printers

Nozzles for ink jet printers can be prepared by techniques such as etching single crystal silicon, drawing fine glass tubes, drilling holes in metal sheets, etc. Many ink formulations have lower surface energies than the nozzles used with them. These inks tend to spread on the face of the nozzle. To prevent this, the high-surface energy silicon nozzles can be coated with low-surface energy coatings. However, it is difficult to get these coatings to last.

The solution described here is to prepare the entire nozzle plate from a low- surface energy polymer.

Many polymeric materials, when molded into nozzles, will possess very low surface energies. Such materials include fluorinated polymers, such as KEL-F Trademark of 3M Company. and TEFLON Trademark of E. I. du Pont de Nemours and Co. as well as hydrocarbon polymers like polyethylene and polypropylene. The fluorinated polymers have a lower intrinsic surface energy than the hydrocarbon polymers. However, the surface energy of the polyethylene or polypropylene nozzles is sufficiently low that they are not wet by the aqueous inks with surface energies as slow as 30-32 dynes/square cm. Nozzles can be prepared by high-density polyethylene by injection molding. Such nozzles must be glued to the ceramic piezoelectric squeeze tubes. Alternatively, one of the advantages of molded nozzles is that a cuff or flange can be molded into the nozzle to be assembled over the squeeze tube and assist in fa...