EP1217463B1 - Digital printing or copying machine including a fixing device - Google Patents

Digital printing or copying machine including a fixing device Download PDF

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Publication number
EP1217463B1
EP1217463B1 EP20010128009 EP01128009A EP1217463B1 EP 1217463 B1 EP1217463 B1 EP 1217463B1 EP 20010128009 EP20010128009 EP 20010128009 EP 01128009 A EP01128009 A EP 01128009A EP 1217463 B1 EP1217463 B1 EP 1217463B1
Authority
EP
European Patent Office
Prior art keywords
substrate
printing
copying machine
characterized
device
Prior art date
Legal status (The legal status is an assumption and is not a legal conclusion. Google has not performed a legal analysis and makes no representation as to the accuracy of the status listed.)
Expired - Fee Related
Application number
EP20010128009
Other languages
German (de)
French (fr)
Other versions
EP1217463A2 (en
EP1217463A3 (en
Inventor
Peter Püschner
Gerhard Dr. Bartscher
Knut Behnke
Dirk Dobrindt
Gerald Erik Dr. Hauptmann
Hans-Otto Krause
Frank-Michael Morgenweck
Kai-Uwe Dr. Preissig
Domingo Rohde
Detlef Dr. Schulze-Hagenest
Current Assignee (The listed assignees may be inaccurate. Google has not performed a legal analysis and makes no representation or warranty as to the accuracy of the list.)
Eastman Kodak Co
Original Assignee
Eastman Kodak Co
Priority date (The priority date is an assumption and is not a legal conclusion. Google has not performed a legal analysis and makes no representation as to the accuracy of the date listed.)
Filing date
Publication date
Priority to DE10064583 priority Critical
Priority to DE10064583 priority
Priority to DE2001143988 priority patent/DE10143988A1/en
Priority to DE10143988 priority
Application filed by Eastman Kodak Co filed Critical Eastman Kodak Co
Publication of EP1217463A2 publication Critical patent/EP1217463A2/en
Publication of EP1217463A3 publication Critical patent/EP1217463A3/en
Application granted granted Critical
Publication of EP1217463B1 publication Critical patent/EP1217463B1/en
Application status is Expired - Fee Related legal-status Critical
Anticipated expiration legal-status Critical

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Classifications

    • BPERFORMING OPERATIONS; TRANSPORTING
    • B65CONVEYING; PACKING; STORING; HANDLING THIN OR FILAMENTARY MATERIAL
    • B65HHANDLING THIN OR FILAMENTARY MATERIAL, e.g. SHEETS, WEBS, CABLES
    • B65H5/00Feeding articles separated from piles; Feeding articles to machines
    • B65H5/36Article guides or smoothers, e.g. movable in operation
    • B65H5/38Article guides or smoothers, e.g. movable in operation immovable in operation
    • GPHYSICS
    • G03PHOTOGRAPHY; CINEMATOGRAPHY; ANALOGOUS TECHNIQUES USING WAVES OTHER THAN OPTICAL WAVES; ELECTROGRAPHY; HOLOGRAPHY
    • G03GELECTROGRAPHY; ELECTROPHOTOGRAPHY; MAGNETOGRAPHY
    • G03G15/00Apparatus for electrographic processes using a charge pattern
    • G03G15/20Apparatus for electrographic processes using a charge pattern for fixing, e.g. by using heat
    • G03G15/2003Apparatus for electrographic processes using a charge pattern for fixing, e.g. by using heat using heat
    • G03G15/2007Apparatus for electrographic processes using a charge pattern for fixing, e.g. by using heat using heat using radiant heat, e.g. infra-red lamps, microwave heaters
    • BPERFORMING OPERATIONS; TRANSPORTING
    • B65CONVEYING; PACKING; STORING; HANDLING THIN OR FILAMENTARY MATERIAL
    • B65HHANDLING THIN OR FILAMENTARY MATERIAL, e.g. SHEETS, WEBS, CABLES
    • B65H2406/00Means using fluid
    • BPERFORMING OPERATIONS; TRANSPORTING
    • B65CONVEYING; PACKING; STORING; HANDLING THIN OR FILAMENTARY MATERIAL
    • B65HHANDLING THIN OR FILAMENTARY MATERIAL, e.g. SHEETS, WEBS, CABLES
    • B65H2406/00Means using fluid
    • B65H2406/10Means using fluid made only for exhausting gaseous medium
    • B65H2406/11Means using fluid made only for exhausting gaseous medium producing fluidised bed

Description

  • The invention relates to a digital printing or copying machine for single-sided or double-sided printing of a substrate using at least one toner, according to the preamble of claim 1.
  • Machines of the type discussed here are known. For example, they use the electrophotographic process, in which a latent electrostatic image is developed by charged toner particles. These are transferred to an image-receiving substrate, hereinafter referred to as substrate. Subsequently, the developed and transferred to the substrate image is fixed by the toner particles are heated and melted. Melting of the toner particles often employs contacting processes in which the toner particles are brought into contact with appropriate equipment, such as hot rollers or rollers. The disadvantage is that, as a rule, the use of silicone oil as release agent is required, which is intended to prevent adhesion of the melted toner to the heating device. Furthermore, the structure, maintenance and operating costs of these touching working heaters are complex and thus costly. Furthermore, the error rate caused by the contacting heaters is relatively high. For fixing the toner, for example, transferred to paper, non-contact heating devices and methods are also known in which, for example with the aid of heat / microwave radiation or hot air, the toner particles are melted.
  • For example, in the contacting and non-contacting reflow processes, toners are used whose glass transition temperature (T G ) ranges from 45 ° C to 75 ° C. The glass transition temperature at which the toner, starting from the solid state, begins to soften is influenced by the choice of raw materials and by the addition of certain additives to the toner. In a fixing device for the toner having at least one heater, both the toner and the substrate itself are heated. To one To ensure good fixation of the toner on the substrate, the surface temperature of the substrate must be in the range of the glass transition temperature of the toner or above. The toner already reaches or exceeds the glass transition temperature (T G ) already in the region of the heating device.
  • Printing and copying machines are known in which the substrate is printed or coated on both sides, wherein either one and the same image-forming and transfer device and heating device or a separate image-forming and transfer device and heating device are used for the printing of the front and back. To fix the toner image, the substrate is often passed by means of a conveyor belt, on which the substrate rests, on the at least one image forming and transfer device and the associated heating device. At first, a first toner image is transferred to a first substrate side and fixed thereon. Subsequently, a second toner image is transferred to the second substrate side and fixed. When the second toner image melts, therefore, the first substrate side with the already fixed first toner image on it is in contact with the conveyor belt. The disadvantage here is that during the melting of the second toner image, the first toner image can heat to the extent that it is soft and tends to stick to the conveyor belt. This can lead to several unwanted effects: Sticking can lead to a substrate jam during the transfer of the substrate from the conveyor belt to a subsequent part of the machine. Furthermore, the appearance of the toner image may change in the areas where it is adhered to the conveyor belt. This causes problems in image quality, for example, the toner image has uneven gloss.
  • The U.S. Patent 5,557,388 discloses a fixing device for a printing or copying machine, with a cooling system which cools the paper from both sides by means of blowing devices and which is arranged downstream of the fixing device.
  • It is an object of the invention to input a machine of the type mentioned, in which a double-sided printing of a substrate at the same time high quality of the applied to the front and back of the substrate images or coatings is possible.
  • To solve the problem, a digital printing or copying machine is proposed which has the features of claim 1. it includes at least one fixing device for fixing a toner image transferred to a substrate. The toner image can be single or multi-colored. In the context of the present invention, a "toner image" is also understood as meaning a coating having at least one toner layer. The substrate may for example be a sheet or a continuous web, which consists for example of paper or cardboard. For fixing the liquid or dry toner on the substrate, this is passed to a heating device, which is part of the fixing device. The printing or copying machine according to the invention is characterized by a guide device for free-floating displacement of the substrate in the area of action of the heating device. By "levitating" is meant that the substrate has no contact with another surface, for example a conveyor belt, a support plate or the like. When the substrate is double-sided printed, it has on one side (bottom side) a first toner image already fixed on the substrate when a second toner image transferred to the other, second substrate side (upper side) is fused by the heater. In this case, the first toner image can be heated so far that it tends to stick / stick when it comes into contact with a surface. However, according to the present invention, since the substrate is freely suspended during the melting process of the second toner image at least until the first toner image has cooled sufficiently that it no longer tends to adhere to surfaces, damage or deterioration of the quality of the first toner image can be precluded. Therefore, consistent image quality and uniform gloss of the toner images on the front and back sides of the substrate can be ensured.
  • It should be noted that the front side of the substrate can form both the top and the bottom, depending on the view, that is, the first toner image can be on the front or the back of the substrate. The same applies to the second toner image.
  • According to the invention, the floating state of the substrate is effected by at least one upper side and / or lower side of the substrate having the toner image to be fixed Air cushion is accessible. Another function of the air cushion may be to cool the substrate and optionally a toner image already fixed on the substrate. For this purpose, the air used to produce the air cushion has a correspondingly low temperature. It is also possible that by means of the air cushion at the same time the substrate should be preheated. For this purpose, warm or hot air is applied to the substrate accordingly.
  • Further advantageous embodiments will be apparent from the remaining dependent claims.
  • In the following we will explain the invention with reference to the drawings. Show it:
  • FIG. 1
    a section of an embodiment of a fixing device with a first embodiment of the guide device according to the invention;
    FIG. 2
    a second embodiment of the guide device;
    FIG. 3
    a side view of an embodiment of a heater;
    FIG. 4
    a section of an embodiment of a printing or copying machine in the region of a fixing device and
    FIG. 5
    a perspective view of another embodiment of the heater.
  • FIG. 1 shows a section of an embodiment of a working example of the electrographic or electrophotographic process Printing or copying machine 1, namely a fixing device 3, which serves for fixing a transferred to a substrate 5 toner image. The toner image to be fixed is here on the upper side 7 of the substrate 5, ie opposite the fixing device 3. On the underside 9 of the substrate 5 may be another, already fixed on the substrate 5 toner image. The transport path of the substrate 5 in this embodiment runs parallel to an imaginary horizontal H. The transport direction 11 of the substrate 5 is indicated by an arrow.
  • The fixing device 3 has a heating device 13 for melting the toner image on the substrate upper side 7, which in this embodiment acts on the substrate 5 with hot air. The air flow 15 indicated by an arrow is substantially perpendicular to the substrate top 7.
  • The machine 1 further comprises a guide device 17 for the substrate 5, which serves to guide the substrate 5 freely at least in the area of action of the heating device 13, that is to say that the guide device 17 prevents the substrate underside 9 from coming into contact with a surface, while the toner image on the substrate top 7 is melted. In this case, the guide device 17 has a first blowing device 19 (not shown), which comprises a plurality of nozzles which can be directed against the underside of the substrate 9 for acting on the substrate with air under overpressure. The emerging from the nozzles, indicated by arrows air jets 21 meet at an angle not equal to 90 ° to the substrate bottom 9. The orientation of the air jets 21 is here chosen such that they each have a direction component perpendicular to the substrate bottom 9 and a directional component in or parallel to the transport direction 11 of the substrate 5. The air jets 21 cause an air cushion to form between the substrate underside 9 and a wall 23, which prevents the substrate underside 9 from coming into contact with the wall 23 formed, for example, by a perforated plate having the nozzles. Since the air jets 21 are also directed in the transport direction 11, the air flow serving to produce the air cushion also contributes to a certain extent to the displacement of the substrate 5 in the transport direction 11. The applied by the heater 13 to the substrate top 7 air flow 15 and the air flow generated by means of the first blowing device 19 on the opposite side of the substrate are coordinated so that the substrate 5 is in a suspended state in the area of action of the heating device 13, ie neither has contact with the heating device 13 nor with the wall 23 arranged below the transport plane.
  • A suitable, not shown in the figures, control device controls the position of the substrate 5 between the heater 13 and the wall 23 and the substrate transport speed, in particular by adjusting the air flow 15 and the air flow generated by the first blowing device 19 accordingly. The distance of the substrate from the heater or the wall 23 is thus adjustable. Such a control device may also be provided in the case of the following embodiment, in which the substrate is subjected to an air flow or a plurality of air flows.
  • FIG. 2 shows a section of another embodiment of the fixing device 3 and the guide means 17. The heater 13 of the fixing device 3 is here formed by a radiation device 24, by means of which the substrate 5 can be acted upon by electromagnetic radiation. The guide device 17 includes a first blowing device 19, not shown, which is arranged below the transport path of the substrate. The first blowing device 19 has a first base plate 25 oriented parallel to the transport path of the substrate, in which a number of passage openings 27 are made. The passage openings 27 are connected on their side facing away from the transport path of the base plate 25 with a compressed air supply device, not shown, so that on the acting as a nozzle through holes 27 each have an air jet 29 can be applied to the substrate bottom 9, whereby an air cushion is generated, which prevents the substrate comes into contact with the first base plate 25.
  • In the FIG. 2 Guide device 17 shown further comprises a second blowing device 31, which serves for generating an air cushion between the toner image to be fixed having the substrate top 7 and a second base plate 33, which is part of the second blowing device 31. The second Base plate 33 is disposed above the transport path of the substrate 5 at a distance from the first base plate 25 and parallel thereto. The substrate transport path runs here in the free space 35 between the base plates 25, 33. The second base plate 33 also has nozzles serving as through holes 37 which are connected on their side facing away from the free space 35 with a compressed air supply device, not shown, so that about each of Through openings 37 each have an air jet 39 perpendicular to the substrate top side 7 can be applied.
  • On the side facing away from the free space 35 of the second base plate 33, a protective plate 41 is arranged at a distance from this, which extends parallel to the second base plate 33. The relatively thin protective plate 41, which may for example be formed by a film, has no passage openings, so that when compressed air is applied to the intermediate space 43 between the second base plate 33 and the protective plate 41 -as indicated by an arrow 45- the compressed air via the passage openings 37 for generating an air cushion between the second base plate 33 and the substrate top 7 passes.
  • The second base plate 33 and the protective plate 41 are made of a radiation-transmissive material and -as out FIG. 2 apparent- in the radiation path between the radiation device 24 and the substrate 5 is arranged. In an advantageous embodiment, it is provided that when the radiator 47 is switched on, the radiation device 24 emits UV to near infrared radiation in the direction of the substrate 5. With the radiation device 24 switched on, the protective plate 41 and the second base plate 33 allow up to 95% of the radiation power emitted by the radiation device 24 to be melted in the desired manner on the toner image located on the substrate 5. Should a malfunction occur, for example a substrate transport stop, the radiation device 24 is switched off, which preferably takes place automatically. The radiation device 24 then emits no more UV to near infrared radiation more, but only thermal radiation of the parts that have been heated by the radiation device 24 through this. The radiation device 24 then radiates only in the infrared spectral range.
  • After switching off the radiation device 24, the wavelength of the emitted radiation changes with the existing temperature of the switched off radiator 47, namely, it is then above about 3.4 microns or more. However, this radiation spectrum is almost completely absorbed by the protective plate 41 and the second base plate 33, so that when the radiation device 24 is switched off, ultimately only about 10% of the initial energy of the residual heat radiation arrives at the substrate 5. The majority of the residual heat radiation is preferably absorbed by the protective plate 41, which is opposite to the radiation device 24, so that it has a significantly higher temperature than the second base plate 33, which is opposite to the substrate transport plane. The heating of the second base plate 33 is in any case only so high that should it come to a contact between the substrate 5 and the second base plate 33, the substrate 5 is not ignited. The second base plate 33 thus also serves as a stop for the substrate 5, so that it can in no way come into contact with the radiation device 24. While the protective plate 41 thus merely serves as a filter for a specific spectrum of the electromagnetic radiation, the second base plate 33 has a plurality of functions, namely stop for the substrate 5, filter for the residual heat radiation and receiving device for the nozzles of the second blowing device 31.
  • The second base plate 33 is preferably so far cooled by means of the compressed air flow within the gap 43, which occurs when the blowing device 31 is activated, that they do not have a critical temperature at which in contact contact between the second base plate 33 and the substrate 5 would ignite, is heated.
  • In order to keep the substrate 5 in the region of action of the radiation device 24 in a floating state, as in FIG. 2 represented, the pressurization of the upper side 7 and the underside 9 of the substrate 5 by means of the blowing devices 19 and 31 is coordinated accordingly. Thus, while the toner image on the substrate top 7 is melted without contact by exposure to electromagnetic radiation, the substrate 5 is generated by the means of the first blowing device 19 on its underside Carried air cushion, wherein by means of the air jets 39 prevents the substrate abuts against the base plate 33.
  • FIG. 3 shows a further embodiment of the fixing device 3, namely a heater 13, which comprises a microwave resonator 49. This has a slot-shaped opening 51, through which the substrate 5 is guided in the transport direction 11. In the lying below the transport path of the substrate 5 part of the microwave resonator 49, a first pressure chamber 53 is integrated, which extends across the width of the Substrattransportweges and the Substrattransportweg toward an opening 55 which is covered with a perforated plate 57. The perforated plate 57 has a number of passage openings and / or slots, which act as nozzles when the first pressure chamber 53 is pressurized, as will be discussed in greater detail below. The perforated plate 57 is made of a material with low microwave absorption, because of the resulting low heating. The material is chosen so that, taking into account the cooling air flow, a temperature of the perforated plate of 50 ° C to 100 ° C (depending on the melting temperature of the toner used) is not exceeded. As a result, the adhesion of toner dust on the perforated plate and the possibly associated closing of holes can be avoided. Examples of materials for the perforated plate are fluoropolymers, such. As PVDF (polyvinylidene fluoride) or PTFE (polytetrafluoroethylene) or technical ceramics such. As silicate ceramics, oxide ceramics (eg. Alumina) or non-oxide ceramics.
  • In the above the transport path of the substrate 5 lying part of the microwave resonator 49, a second pressure chamber 59 is integrated to the Substrattransportweg towards an opening 61 which is covered by a perforated plate 63, which is preferably made of the same material as the perforated plate 57. This has a number of through holes and / or slots, which act on pressure of the second pressure chamber 59 with a preferably gaseous medium as nozzles. The preferably acted upon by compressed air first and second pressure chambers 53, 59 are connected either to a common compressed air supply source or each having a separate compressed air supply source. When applying the Pressure chambers 53, 59 with compressed air is applied via the passage openings and optionally slots in the perforated plates 57, 63 each have an air jet on the top 7 and bottom 9 of the substrate 5. As a result, an air cushion is formed on the upper and lower substrate sides, which are coordinated with one another such that the substrate 5 -as in FIG FIG. 3 shown floatingly guided through the slot-shaped opening 51 in the microwave resonator 49. The substrate 5 thus has no contact with the microwave resonator 49, while the toner image on the substrate upper side 7 is melted by the microwave radiation of the microwave resonator 49.
  • Thus, sufficient compressed air is applied to the substrate 5 via the first pressure chamber 53 and the perforated plate 57, so that it hovers virtually weightlessly over the lower part of the microwave resonator 49. The thickness of the air cushion is adjusted so that the distance between the substrate 5 and the upper perforated plate 63 is at least so large that a substrate jam within the slit-shaped opening 51 is avoided. In this embodiment, as mentioned above, a second pressure chamber 59 is provided in the upper part of the microwave resonator 49, with the aid of which a second air cushion can be generated between the substrate upper side 9 and the upper part of the microwave resonator 49. As a result, contact between the substrate 5 and the perforated plate 63 can be virtually eliminated. In one exemplary embodiment, which is not illustrated in the figures, it is provided that the second pressure chamber 59 is dispensed with and that the free-floating state of the substrate 5 within the heating device 13 is achieved exclusively by the air cushion generated on the underside 9 of the substrate 5 by means of the first pressure chamber 52 becomes.
  • The compressed air applied to the substrate 5 by means of the pressure chambers 53, 59 can be preheated, whereby the effectiveness of the heating device 13 is increased. In this case, as seen in the transport direction 11 of the substrate 5, zones with different temperatures can be realized. Preferably, in the inlet region of the substrate 5 in the opening 51 very hot air by means of the pressure chambers 53, 59 applied to the substrate 5, which supports the melting of the toner image, while in the outlet region of the opening 51 cooler compressed air is applied to the substrate 5 to this to cool. These are the Pressure chambers 53, 59 -in Substrate transport 11 seen- divided into at least two separate pressure chambers, as indicated by dashed line 65.
  • In FIG. 3 the transport path of the substrate 5 is parallel to the horizontal H. In another embodiment, it is provided that the transport path of the substrate 5 in the region of the microwave resonator 49 in the vertical direction, preferably following the gravity from top to bottom. For this purpose, the microwave resonator 49 is similar or identical, as in FIG. 3 shown, therefore, has first and second pressure chambers 53, 59, by means of which a contact between the substrate 5 and the walls of the opening 51 in the microwave resonator 49 can be prevented.
  • FIG. 4 shows a further embodiment of the machine 1, namely a section in the region of its fixing device 3. The same parts are provided with the same reference numerals, so that reference is made to the description of the preceding figures. The heater 13 is preceded by a further embodiment of the guide device 17 according to the invention, comprising a guided over rollers 83 and 85, electrostatically charged conveyor belt 87. This serves to transfer the substrate 5 to the fixing device 13. In the intermediate space between the roller 85, which serves to return the conveyor belt 17 to the initial region of the transfer route, and the heater 13, a fixedly arranged guide member 89 is arranged, which is formed here by a guide plate. The inherent rigidity of the substrate 5 and / or the particular shape of the electrostatic conveyor belt 87 and / or the particular shape of the guide member 89 allow a straight transport of the substrate 5, without the substrate 5 bends. The transport path of the substrate 5 runs parallel to the horizontal here.
  • The heating device 13 is - seen in the transport direction 11 of the substrate 5 - downstream of a cooling device 91, which serves to cool the substrate and the toner image located thereon. The cooling device 91 is followed by two further guide elements 93 and 95 which guide the substrate 5 in a nip formed between two transport rollers 97 and 99.
  • Regarding the function of the guide device 17: The substrate 5 lying flat on the conveyor belt 87 is guided by a displacement of the conveyor belt 87 in the transport direction 11 in the direction of the fixing region. In the area of the roller 85, the conveyor belt 87 is returned to the beginning of the transfer route. The substrate 5 is further displaced in the transport direction, so that its leading edge 101 slides beyond the roller 85. Then, the substrate 5 is pushed by means of the conveyor belt 87 below the heater 13 and the cooling device 91 past this, until the leading edge 101 of the substrate 5 enters the nip between the transport rollers 97, 99 and from this is recorded and transported. How out FIG. 4 can be seen, the substrate 5 in the region of the heater 13 and the cooling device 91 levitates, that is, it has no contact with a surface, so that when melting the located on the substrate top side 7 toner image by means of the heater 13, an impairment of the can be excluded on the substrate bottom 9 located, already fixed toner image.
  • To support the substrate 5 in the region of the heating device 13 and the cooling device 91, so that this does not bend, the substrate underside 9 can be acted upon by means of a blowing device, not shown, from below by means of compressed air, as indicated by arrows 103.
  • At the in FIG. 4 illustrated embodiment is provided that at the moment in which the leading edge 101 of the substrate 5 is gripped by the transport rollers 97, 99, the trailing edge 102 of the substrate 5 just loses contact with the conveyor belt 87. In an embodiment, not shown, it is provided that the distance between the roller 85 and the gap between the transport rollers 97, 99 is greater than the substrate length. This means that the trailing edge 102 of the substrate 5 expires from the conveyor belt 87 before the front edge 101 of the substrate 5 is gripped by the transport rollers 97, 99. For transferring or for introducing the substrate 5 into the tapering gap between the guide elements 93, 95, the air flow 103 can be used here, which is blown from below against the substrate 5, wherein the air flow has at least one directional component in the transport direction 11. Regardless of how and by what means the substrate 5 is guided past the heating device 13, it is provided in any case that, at the moment when the toner image is melted on the substrate 5, the substrate, at least in this region, has no contact with a surface with either its top or bottom.
  • In a preferred embodiment, the range of action / fixing range of the heating device 13 - viewed in the substrate transport direction 11 - is very short, preferably less than 20 cm, for example 10 cm. For this the must Heating device 13 may be designed such that it can transmit a very high energy density to the substrate, so that it is possible to melt the toner image in a desired manner on this short distance. The heating device 13 can be formed, for example, by a radiation device which has at least one high-intensity lamp which predominantly radiates in the UV range. In principle, each wavelength range of this UV lamp can be used for melting. However, the UV range is preferred, because the toners used usually absorb the electromagnetic radiation in this spectrum very well and the intensity of the light sources in this area is very high. In the infrared range, the toner (s) of the toner image and the substrate absorb the radiation very well, but the light sources in this area often have insufficient intensity or the light source, for example a CO 2 laser, is too expensive. The radiation device may, for example, also have a xenon flash lamp, by means of which light pulses are applied to the toner image in order to melt it. In another embodiment, the heater is provided to apply hot air to the toner image to reflow it. However, it is very difficult to transfer sufficient energy in a short time (small range of action of the heater). In order to improve the energy transfer, the hot air can also be added to water vapor. In a further embodiment of the heating device 13, this acts on the toner image with microwave radiation.
  • FIG. 5 shows in perspective a section of an embodiment of in FIG. 4 This comprises a first microwave resonator 105, which is followed directly by a second microwave resonator 107. These each have a slot-shaped, extending transversely to the substrate transport direction 6 opening 109, through which the substrate 5 -wie. Based on the FIG. 3 described freely floating is performed. It can be seen that the effective range of the microwave resonators 105, 107-seen in plan view on the transport path of the substrate-is very small or short. However, by means of a heating device 13 designed in this way a very high energy density are transmitted to the substrate 5 without contact.
  • It should be noted that often one of the microwave resonators 105, 107 is sufficient to melt the toner image as desired. It may therefore be possible to dispense with one of the two microwave resonators. In order to achieve a homogeneous heating with only one microwave resonator with a standing wave field, the standing wave field must oscillate in a suitable periodically perpendicular to the feed / Substrattransportrichtung. The width b 1 of the microwave resonator 105 and the width b 2 of the microwave resonator 107 are preferably each in a range of 2 cm to 4 cm. The microwave resonators emit microwaves having a frequency of, for example, 2450 GHz. The two microwave resonators serve to ensure a homogeneous heating of the toner image.
  • It remains to be noted that the basis of the FIG. 4 described guide device 17 can also be used readily in a running in the vertical direction of transport of the substrate 5. In this case, the transport direction is preferably from top to bottom, ie following the force of gravity, which brings with it advantages in stabilizing the substrate 5 made of a flexible material. Furthermore, the displacement of the substrate 5 is supported by gravity or possibly effected in the region of the fixing device 3 exclusively by gravity.
  • The claims filed with the application are formulation proposals without prejudice to the achievement of further patent protection. The Applicant reserves the right to claim further, previously only disclosed in the description and / or drawings feature combination.
  • Relationships used in subclaims indicate the further development of the subject of the main claim by the features of the respective subclaim; they should not be construed as a waiver of obtaining independent, objective protection for the feature combinations of the dependent claims.
  • The embodiments are not to be understood as limiting the invention. Numerous modifications and variations are possible within the scope of the present disclosure, in particular, the appended claims.
  • LIST OF REFERENCE NUMBERS
  • 1
    Printing or copying machine
    3
    fixing
    5
    substratum
    7
    top
    9
    bottom
    11
    transport direction
    13
    heater
    15
    airflow
    17
    guide means
    19
    1. blowing device
    21
    air jets
    23
    wall
    24
    radiation device
    25
    1st base plate
    27
    Through openings
    29
    air jet
    31
    2. blowing device
    33
    2.Grundplatte
    35
    free space
    37
    Through openings
    39
    air jet
    41
    protection plate
    43
    gap
    45
    arrow
    47
    spotlight
    49
    microwave
    51
    opening
    53
    1.Druckkammer
    55
    opening
    57
    perforated plate
    59
    2.Druckkammer
    61
    opening
    63
    perforated plate
    65
    line
    83
    role
    85
    role
    87
    conveyor belt
    89
    guide element
    91
    cooling device
    93
    guide element
    95
    guide element
    97
    transport roller
    99
    transport roller
    101
    leading edge
    102
    trailing edge
    103
    compressed air
    105
    Mikrowellensonator
    107
    microwave
    109
    opening
    Exceptional items
  • H
    horizontal
    H
    height
    b 1
    Wide resonator I
    b 2
    Wide resonator II

Claims (19)

  1. Digital printing or copying machine (1) for simplex or duplex printing of a substrate (5) with the use of at least one toner, said machine comprising at least one fusing device (3) for fusing the toner image to the substrate (5), said fusing device (3) having at least one heating device (13) for melt-depositing the toner image, with the substrate (5) being movable past said heating device, characterized by a guiding means (17) for the free-floating displacement of the substrate (5) in the effective region of the heating device (13), the floating state of the substrate (5) being achievable by at least one air cushion acting on the upper side (7) carrying the toner image to be fused, and on the underside (9) of the substrate (5).
  2. Printing or copying machine as in one of the previous claims, characterized in that the guiding means (17) comprises at least a first blowing device (19) for generating a first air cushion on the underside (9) of the substrate, said first blowing device (19) comprising at least one nozzle that can be directed at the underside (9) of the substrate in order to act on the substrate (5) by means of pressurized air (21).
  3. Printing or copying machine as in Claim 2, characterized in that the air jet (21) comprises at least one directional component directed perpendicularly to the underside (9) of the substrate and, if needed, a directional component directed in transport direction (11) of the substrate (5).
  4. Printing or copying machine as in one of the previous claims, characterized in that the first blowing device (19) comprises a first base plate (25) aligned parallel or essentially parallel to the transport path of the substrate (5), said base plate having several passage openings and/or slits, each forming a nozzle.
  5. Printing or copying machine as in one of the previous claims, characterized in that, for melt-depositing the toner image with the use of the heating device (13), hot air (15) can be applied to the upper side (7) of the substrate carrying the toner to be fused.
  6. Printing or copying machine as in one of the previous claims, characterized in that the guiding means (17) comprises at least a second blowing device (31) for generating a second air cushion on the upper side (7) of the substrate (5) carrying the toner image to be fused, said upper side being opposite the heating device (13).
  7. Printing or copying machine as in one of the previous claims, characterized in that the second blowing device (31) comprises at least one second base plate (33) aligned parallel or essentially parallel to the transport path of the substrate (5), said base plate having several passage openings (37) and/or slits, each forming a nozzle.
  8. Printing or copying machine as in one of the previous claims, characterized in that the heating device (13) is formed by a radiation device (24) by means of which electromagnetic radiation can be applied to the substrate (5), and that the second base plate (33) is arranged in the radiation path between the radiation device (24) and the substrate (5).
  9. Printing or copying machine as in one of the previous claims, characterized in that the heating device (13) comprises at least one microwave resonator (49) having a slit-shaped opening (51) through which the substrate (5) is guided in a freely floating manner, and that at least one blowing device for generating an air cushion on the upper side and/or underside of the substrate (5) is integrated in the microwave resonator (49).
  10. Printing or copying machine as in one of the previous claims, characterized in that the guiding means (17) comprises, directly upstream of the heating device (13), a displaceable first guiding element, in particular a transport belt (87) or a roller, said guiding element being disposed to transport the substrate (5) to the heating device (13) and, if needed, past the heating device (13).
  11. Printing or copying machine as in Claim 10, characterized in that the guiding means (17) comprises -- viewed in the transport direction (11) of the substrate -- a rigidly arranged second guiding element (89), in particular a guiding plate, in the intermediate space between the first guiding element (87) and the heating device (13).
  12. Printing or copying machine as in one of the previous claims, characterized in that the effective region / fusing region of the heating device (13) -- viewed in the transport direction (11) of the substrate -- is very short, preferably less than 20 cm, in particular approximately 10 cm.
  13. Printing or copying machine as in Claim 12, characterized in that the transmittable energy density of the contactlessly operating heating device (13) is very high.
  14. Printing or copying machine as in Claim 13, characterized in that electromagnetic radiation, hot air and/or steam, in particular water vapor, can be applied to the toner image to be fused by means of the heating device (13).
  15. Printing or copying machine as in one of the previous claims, characterized by a control device for controlling the velocity of the substrate and/or the position of the substrate relative to the heating device.
  16. Printing or copying machine as in one of the previous claims, characterized in that the slit-shaped opening (51) of the microwave resonator (49) is delimited by at least one perforated plate (57, 63).
  17. Printing or copying machine as in Claim 16, characterized in that the perforated plate (57, 63) is made of a material displaying minimal microwave absorption.
  18. Printing or copying machine as in one of the previous claims, characterized in that the transport path of the substrate in the region of the microwave resonator extends in vertical direction, preferably from the top to the bottom.
  19. Printing or copying machine as in one of the previous claims, characterized in that, downstream of the heating device, a cooling device is arranged that is preferably contactlessly operating with respect to the substrate.
EP20010128009 2000-12-22 2001-11-24 Digital printing or copying machine including a fixing device Expired - Fee Related EP1217463B1 (en)

Priority Applications (4)

Application Number Priority Date Filing Date Title
DE10064583 2000-12-22
DE10064583 2000-12-22
DE2001143988 DE10143988A1 (en) 2000-12-22 2001-09-07 Digital Printing or copying machine
DE10143988 2001-09-07

Publications (3)

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EP1217463A2 EP1217463A2 (en) 2002-06-26
EP1217463A3 EP1217463A3 (en) 2005-02-09
EP1217463B1 true EP1217463B1 (en) 2009-10-21

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EP20010128009 Expired - Fee Related EP1217463B1 (en) 2000-12-22 2001-11-24 Digital printing or copying machine including a fixing device

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US (1) US7092664B2 (en)
EP (1) EP1217463B1 (en)

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DE10359666B4 (en) * 2003-12-18 2011-06-16 Eastman Kodak Co. Method and fixing device for fixing toner on a printing substrate
US7298994B2 (en) * 2004-04-16 2007-11-20 Eastman Kodak Company Process and printing machine for the use of liquid print colors
JP4858196B2 (en) * 2007-01-31 2012-01-18 富士ゼロックス株式会社 Fixing device
DE102007048158B3 (en) * 2007-10-08 2009-05-20 OCé PRINTING SYSTEMS GMBH Cooling and cooling method for a substrate in an electrographic printer or copier
US8606165B2 (en) * 2008-04-30 2013-12-10 Xerox Corporation Extended zone low temperature non-contact heating for distortion free fusing of images on non-porous material
US8422930B2 (en) * 2010-03-25 2013-04-16 Eastman Kodak Company Safe radiant toner heating apparatus with membrane
JP4945651B2 (en) * 2010-03-26 2012-06-06 シャープ株式会社 Laser fixing device, image forming apparatus including the laser fixing device, and image forming method using the image forming apparatus

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Also Published As

Publication number Publication date
EP1217463A3 (en) 2005-02-09
US7092664B2 (en) 2006-08-15
EP1217463A2 (en) 2002-06-26
US20020191993A1 (en) 2002-12-19

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