Nozzle-Capping Mechanism for Ink Jet Printer
Original Publication Date: 1988-Nov-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Feb-15
This article describes a protective or cleaning device or cap that covers the nozzles of an ink jet printer when the printer is not in use to prevent or to remove contamination from the nozzles and to reduce loss of printing ink and ingestion of air into the nozzles. Application of a capping element to an ink jet nozzle may force air into the ink jet nozzle, impairing operation of the printer. This problem is avoided by using a compliant capping element 1 having a convex shape, as shown in the figure. The convex shape of the cap permits air to escape in a direction parallel to the nozzle face without being forced into the nozzles. Whether or not air is forced into the nozzles depends upon the radius of curvature of the cap and the velocity with which it approaches the ink nozzles.