Browse Prior Art Database

Surge Tank for an Ink Jet Printer

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000052937D
Original Publication Date: 1981-Aug-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Feb-12
Document File: 3 page(s) / 42K

Publishing Venue

IBM

Related People

Baker, RW: AUTHOR

Abstract

Surge tanks are generally employed in ink jet printers of the continuous type to prevent splash back of ink being returned to the recirculating ink system and to help remove trapped air. Fig. 1 illustrates a typical surge tank of the prior-art type. The purpose of this article is to illustrate a design of a surge tank for ink jet printers which reduces ink evaporation by eliminating air flow through the surge tank while providing adequate drainage from the gutter.

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Surge Tank for an Ink Jet Printer

Surge tanks are generally employed in ink jet printers of the continuous type to prevent splash back of ink being returned to the recirculating ink system and to help remove trapped air. Fig. 1 illustrates a typical surge tank of the prior-art type. The purpose of this article is to illustrate a design of a surge tank for ink jet printers which reduces ink evaporation by eliminating air flow through the surge tank while providing adequate drainage from the gutter.

Referring first to Fig. 1, ink not used to print characters enters the gutter 1, flows down the gutter tube la, past the angle plate 2, and then drips onto the filter 3 into the bottom 4 of the tank. Ink in the bottom of the tank is drawn through a suction tube or the like 5 back to the ink bottle. At the upper portion of the surge tank are screw entry mounting holes 6 which suspend the surge tank from the printer carrier. When the screws are placed in the mounting holes, the only vent for the surge tank is the gutter 1. Occasionally, an air bubble forms in the gutter tube la and ink starts accumulating on top of the bubble. If the surge tank is not vented to atmosphere, the ink may back up the tube 1a and spill out of the gutter. When this happens, the usual procedure is to remove one of the mounting screws to vent the tank. However when the air blower is turned on, for example, from an aspirated ink jet printer, air may flow down the gutter tube across the angle plate and out of the mounting hole. This air flow greatly increases the ink evaporation rate compared to the evaporation rate measured with the hole closed by the mounting screw. For example, in room conditions an evaporation rate of 227 mg. per hour may be measured with the printer operating in the aspirated mode. With one of the screws removed from the aperture 6, the evaporation rate may rise to as high as 500 mg. per hour.

Fig. 2 illustrates a...