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Uniform Particle Abatement Plenum

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000129242D
Publication Date: 2005-Oct-03
Document File: 2 page(s) / 40K

Publishing Venue

The IP.com Prior Art Database

Abstract

One of the causes of solid ink jet print head failure is contamination of the nozzle face with paper particles and fibers. The reliability of solid ink jet printers using the intermediate drum configuration can be increased by vacuuming these contaminants from the transfer/fusing area of the drum using a manifold or plenum to distribute the vacuum across the drum surface. This disclosure describes a configuration for such a vacuum system.

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Uniform Particle Abatement Plenum

One of the causes of solid ink jet print head failure is contamination of the nozzle face with paper particles and fibers.  The reliability of solid ink jet printers using the intermediate drum configuration can be increased by vacuuming these contaminants from the transfer/fusing area of the drum using a manifold or plenum to distribute the vacuum across the drum surface.  Experiments have been done using a plenum with vacuum outlets at both ends and the middle of the plenum, in order to get uniform flow at all points in the plenum/drum gap.  However, in some architectures, the room does not exist to have three vacuum ports, and in any case, routing the three hoses to the ports typically adds resistance to the vacuum system, requiring a bigger and more costly blower.

This problem can be solved by using a single vacuum source line at the end of the plenum.  This allows placement of a blower outside of the drum area and enables a short duct path, providing a low resistance path to the plenum.  However, providing a source of vacuum only at the end of the plenum results in a significant longitudinal non-uniformity in the negative pressure supplied to the plenum/drum gap, with high vacuum and flow rates at the end near the source but very low flow rates at the distal end.

One way this non-uniformity can be corrected is by a second chamber above the main plenum chamber.  A slot of variable width separates the upper chamber (which solely contains the vacuum source) from the lower chamber which uniformly distributes the vacuum to the drum/plenum gap.  The slot would be narrow near the plenum end that had the vacuum source (providing a high flow resistance where the vacuum is strongest) and wider at the opposite end (providing a low flow resistance where the vacuum is weakest).  This would ma...