A PARTICLE DISPENSER
Original Publication Date: 1983-Feb-28
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2004-Apr-04
Xerox Disclosure Journal
In an electrophotographic printing machine, it is frequently necessary to replenish the supply of toner particles as they are being depleted therefrom during the process of producing copies. A toner dispenser furnishes additional particles to the chamber of the developer housing storing the developer mixture so as to maintain the concentration of toner particles therein substantially constant. As shown, toner dispenser 76 includes a substantially rigid outer container 78. A bag 80 containing a supply of toner particles therein is disposed interiorly of container 78. Preferably, bag 80 is made from a suitable flexible material such as a plastic. The uppermost portion of container 78 is open-ended. When positioned in container 78, bag 80 is open to permit toner particles to pass freely from the uppermost portion thereof outwardly. A conveyor belt 82 is entrained about a pair of opposed, spaced rollers and located at the Uppermost portion, i.e., the open end, of container 78. Conveyor belt 82 is positioned in chamber 86 in upper housing 88. Upper housing 88 includes a discharge plate 90. Discharge plate 90 has an aperture 92 to permit toner particles to fall from conveyor 82 downwardly into the chamber of the developer housing. Conveyor belt 82 may be a suitably wide timing belt with rollers 84 being sprocketed rollers meshing therewith. In this way, conveyor belt 82 advances toner particles from the uppermost portion of bag 80 to plate 90 for discharge through aperture 92 into the developer housing chamber. A slidably mounted plate 94 is disposed beneath bag 80. As toner particles are depleted from bag 80, plate 94 automatically moves in a vertical direction, as indicated by arrow 96, to insure that a continuous supply of toner particles is maintained in contact with conveyor 82. Plate 94 m'ay be moved in an upwardly direction by being mounted on a suitable spring or, in lieu thereof, by a supply of pressurized air being furnished between plate 94 and the bottom of container 78.