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Polyetherimide Based Intermediate Transfer Belts for Color Xerographic Printing

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000186536D
Publication Date: 2009-Aug-25
Document File: 3 page(s) / 214K

Publishing Venue

The IP.com Prior Art Database

Abstract

Some Xerographic printers use Intermediate Transfer Belt (ITB) technology in the imaging process. This involves transferring images from a photoreceptor to an intermediate belt before transferring onto print media. ITB’s are difficult and expensive to manufacture due to specific characteristics they must have. This idea proposes an easier and less expensive method to manufacture the raw stock needed to further process into an ITB for use in a Xerographic printer. This idea proposes making polyetherimide based Intermediate Transfer Belts (ITB's) using a method of melt blending polyetherimide with a conductive additive through a unique screw design (US patent 6,862,431). The screw compounder has demonstrated excellent mixing of carbon nanotubes and nanoceramics in polymethylmethacrylate (PMMA). The method produces a well blended sheet that when fabricated into a belt meets the criteria for a functioning ITB. Trials showed that sheets of correct dimensions, mechanical and electrical properties could be produced for carbon black in polyetherimide. The resultant thermoplastic film is weldable and yields a strong seam. Transmission Electron Microscopy confirms that carbon black is well dispersed in the polyetherimide. Advantages of this method are that it is a simpler manufacturing process than casting, flow coating or dip coating. This results in a lower cost. The technology for this manufacturing process is also readily available at many vendors and therefore provides for a more competition in supplying the raw belt material.

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Polyetherimide Based Intermediate Transfer Belts for Color Xerographic Printing

Some Xerographic printers use Intermediate Transfer Belt (ITB) technology in the imaging process.  This involves transferring images from a photoreceptor to an intermediate belt before transferring onto print media.  ITB’s are difficult and expensive to manufacture due to specific characteristics they must have.  This idea proposes an easier and less expensive method to manufacture the raw stock needed to further process into an ITB for use in a Xerographic printer.

This idea proposes making polyetherimide based Intermediate Transfer Belts (ITB's) using a method of melt blending polyetherimide with a conductive additive through a unique screw design (US patent 6,862,431). The screw compounder has demonstrated excellent mixing of carbon nanotubes and nanoceramics in polymethylmethacrylate (PMMA). The method produces a well blended sheet that when fabricated into a belt meets the criteria for a functioning ITB. Trials showed that sheets of correct dimensions, mechanical and electrical properties could be produced for carbon black in polyetherimide. The resultant thermoplastic film is weldable and yields a strong seam. Transmission Electron Microscopy confirms that carbon black is well dispersed in the polyetherimide. Advantages of this method are that it is a simpler manufacturing process than casting, flow coating or dip coating. This results in a lower cost.  The technology for this manufacturing process is also readily available at many vendors and therefore provides for a more competition in supplying the raw belt material.

The proposal is to produce ITB film using a novel method of melt blending polyetherimide (

PEI

) and conductive additive directly into sheets or indirectly, via a pre-compounding process.   This is followed by sheet extrusion through a unique extrusion screw design that has shown excellent mixing of carbon nanotube and polycarbonate or PMMA in the literature.  This is a much simpler manufacturing process than casting free standing sheet from slurry and there should be many vendor collaboration opportunities since numerous vendors are known to possess such sheet extrusion capability. The key to this invention is to thoroughly mix polyetherimide and a conductive additive through the unique extruding screw.

In the conventional blending process via extrusion, either single or double (twin) screws, the mixing is usually very inefficient, and parti...