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Cleaning Ink Jet Nozzles

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000087702D
Original Publication Date: 1977-Mar-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Mar-03
Document File: 2 page(s) / 41K

Publishing Venue

IBM

Related People

Mako, J: AUTHOR [+3]

Abstract

An ink jet nozzle assembly 10 (Fig. 1) comprises a magnetostrictive tube 11 and a nozzle element 12 attached to one end thereof. Ink, such as a ferrofluid applied under pressure, flows through tube 11, check valve 13 into forward cavity 14 and out through orifice 15 to become a continuous stream of ink drops which form as a result of cyclical mechanical vibrations of tube 11.

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Cleaning Ink Jet Nozzles

An ink jet nozzle assembly 10 (Fig. 1) comprises a magnetostrictive tube 11 and a nozzle element 12 attached to one end thereof. Ink, such as a ferrofluid applied under pressure, flows through tube 11, check valve 13 into forward cavity 14 and out through orifice 15 to become a continuous stream of ink drops which form as a result of cyclical mechanical vibrations of tube 11.

At shutdown of the ink jet printer, nozzle assembly 10 is cleaned by first turning off the supply of ink to tube 11 and opening valves 16 and 17. Flush fluid under pressure enters cavity 14 flushing ink and any accumulated particles behind orifice 15 through valve 17 to a waste dump. Splash shield 18 is then moved into position in front of orifice 15 while valve 17 is closed, causing the pressure of the flush fluid in cavity 14 to build up rapidly closing check valve 13 tightly and a fine stream of flush fluid to be jetted through orifice 15 against splash shield 18. Splash shield 18, which is in close proximity to nozzle face 12, causes the flash fluid to splash against nozzle face 12 thus clearing it of build-up.

The jetting of flush fluid removes build up of ink in orifice 15. The radial flow of flush fluid along splash shield 18 causes the face of nozzle element 12 to be scrubbed in the vicinity of orifice 15 thereby removing any external ink build up. Nozzle tube 11 continues to be reciprocated, as shown by arrow 19, at drop generating frequencies preferably. Th...