THERMAL INK JET MAINTENANCE CAP WITH PIEZOELECTRIC ELEMENT FOR HUMIDIFICATION
Original Publication Date: 1997-Jun-30
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2004-Apr-08
Xerox Disclosure Journal
Proposed is a thermal ink jet maintenance cap that provides a high humidity environment around ink jet nozzles to maintain ink functionality. Without the high humidity environment, water evaporates from the ink, changing its properties and potentially plugging the nozzles. The current configuration uses specially designed passages to channel the maintenance fluid into close proximity with the nozzles. This allows the remaining gap between the maintenance fluid and ink jet nozzles to be humidified quickly. However, the design is limited by cap orientation, distance from the nozzles, and vapor pressure of the maintenance fluid. For example, if the fluid is contaminated by the ink, the cap humidity and functionality are dramatically reduced.