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Ink jet mist control system

Imported: 24 Feb '17 | Published: 28 Oct '03

Randal Scott Williamson, Martin Alan Johnson, Mark Aaron Neal

USPTO - Utility Patents

Abstract

A receptacle for the color ink spitting of a printhead to maintain the print nozzles and better collect the ink and transfer the waste ink to a containment area utilizes a porous open cell foam spit surface to allow the waste ink and air to pass through while maintaining some surfaces for the transport and collection of waste ink. This open cell design of the foam allows the ink and air to pass through it without deflecting the vast majority of the ink volume. The foam is hydrophobic foam to prevent the foam from absorbing the ink. The foam is also made from an ether-based material to be compatible with the inks. Walls forming a chimney are added to the sides of the foam to help contain and direct the waste ink flow from the printhead to the waste ink accumulation area in the printer. The spit foam and chimney direct the waste ink directly onto a felt absorption pad located below the spit surface where the waste ink is absorbed and stored. The felt pad is used in place of a hard spit surface to collect any ink that jets through the foam filled chimney. To help reduce or eliminate ink fogging, a pause time is built into the controls. Delaying the movement of the carrier until the fog or mist is below the spit surface reduces or eliminates the contamination of other parts of the printer. Color ink is spit first then monochrome ink. The spitting of monochrome ink after the color ink gives a built in delay before moving the carrier and thus allows more time for the color ink to migrate through the spit foam and away from the printhead. Additional carrier delay time may also built into the controls to further reduce or eliminate ink fogging.

Description

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

The above-mentioned and other features and advantages of this invention, and the manner of attaining them, will become more apparent and the invention will be better understood by reference to the following description of an embodiment of the invention taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings, wherein:

FIG. 1 is an exploded perspective view of a waste ink receptacle according to the present invention;

FIG. 2 is a cross-sectional view of the receptacle of FIG. 1 along line

2

2 schematically illustrating ejected ink flow paths;

FIG. 3 is a schematic illustration of a printhead servicing process according to the present invention; and

FIG. 4 is a schematic illustration of the process of purging one printhead.

Corresponding reference characters indicate corresponding parts throughout the several views. The exemplification set out herein illustrates one preferred embodiment of the invention, in one form, and such exemplification is not to be construed as limiting the scope of the invention in any manner.

Claims

1. A waste ink receptacle, comprising:

2. The waste ink receptacle of claim 1, wherein the ink entrance pathway is formed of a sidewall region of ink impervious material open at opposite ends to allow spit ink to enter one end and exit the other end.

3. The waste ink receptacle of claim 2, wherein the sidewall region has a generally rectangular parallelepiped shape.

4. The waste ink receptacle of claim 1, wherein the foam medium comprises a hydrophobic material.

5. The waste ink receptacle of claim 1, wherein the foam medium comprises an ink compatible ether-based material.

6. The waste ink receptacle of claim 1, wherein the absorptive tray liner includes an elevated portion in close proximity to the foam medium forming an ink capturing surface.

7. The waste ink receptacle of claim 1, wherein the foam medium comprises a hydrophobic porous open cell foam.

8. The waste ink receptacle of claim 1, wherein the absorptive tray liner comprises a relatively soft flexible absorbent felt material.

9. A process of servicing a carriage supported inkjet printer printhead, comprising the steps of:

10. The process of claim 9, further including the step of ejecting ink from a second printhead into the liquid permeable foam medium and capturing ejected ink which passes through the foam medium in the absorbent material.

11. The process of claim 10, wherein the first printhead ejects colored dye based inks and the second printhead ejects one of a black pigment based ink and a colored dye based ink.

12. The process of claim 9, further including the step of limiting lateral movement of the ejected ink.

13. The process of claim 9, wherein the liquid permeable foam medium comprises a hydrophobic porous open cell foam and the absorbent material comprises a relatively soft felt absorbent pad located in close proximity to the foam.

14. A process of confining and controlling waste ink jetted from an inkjet printhead toward an adjacent waste ink accumulating surface, comprising the steps of:

15. The process of claim 14, wherein the felt pad functions as the waste ink accumulating surface.

16. The process of claim 14, wherein an image forming operation is performed a fixed time interval after ejection of ink from the printhead.

17. The process of claim 16, further comprising the steps of moving the printhead and ejecting ink from a second printhead into the hydrophobic open cell foam.