JP2011093103A - Liquid container and liquid jetting device - Google Patents

Liquid container and liquid jetting device Download PDF

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Publication number
JP2011093103A
JP2011093103A JP2009246208A JP2009246208A JP2011093103A JP 2011093103 A JP2011093103 A JP 2011093103A JP 2009246208 A JP2009246208 A JP 2009246208A JP 2009246208 A JP2009246208 A JP 2009246208A JP 2011093103 A JP2011093103 A JP 2011093103A
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Prior art keywords
liquid
type
ink
container
detection signal
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JP2009246208A
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Japanese (ja)
Inventor
Taku Ishizawa
Yuki Takeda
侑希 武田
卓 石澤
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Seiko Epson Corp
セイコーエプソン株式会社
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Abstract

The present invention provides a technique in which the type of liquid stored in a liquid storage container including a liquid detection device is not extremely limited, and can suppress a decrease in accuracy of a detection signal output from the liquid detection device. The purpose is to provide technology.
A liquid container for supplying a first type of liquid ejected by a liquid ejecting apparatus to the liquid ejecting apparatus, a liquid accommodating chamber capable of accommodating the first type of liquid, and a liquid from the liquid accommodating chamber. A liquid detection device having a liquid supply flow channel for allowing the first type liquid to flow through the ejection device and a piezoelectric element, in accordance with a communication chamber communicating with the liquid supply flow channel, and a vibration characteristic of the fluid existing in the communication chamber A liquid detection device that outputs a detection signal, the liquid container having a specific gravity smaller than that of the first type of liquid and the first type of liquid and phase-separating from the first type of liquid. A second type of liquid.
[Selection] Figure 2

Description

  The present invention relates to a liquid container for supplying a liquid to a liquid ejecting apparatus and a liquid ejecting apparatus.

2. Description of the Related Art In a liquid storage container that supplies a liquid to a liquid ejecting apparatus, a technology that includes a liquid detection device that is used to detect the amount of liquid stored in the liquid storage container (hereinafter also referred to as “liquid remaining amount”) is known. It has been. For example, in an ink cartridge attached to a printer,
A technique is known in which a recording liquid and a conductive non-volatile liquid are accommodated in an ink cartridge and an electrode is provided in the ink cartridge (for example, Patent Document 1). In this technique, when the recording liquid is consumed and the electrodes come into contact with the non-volatile liquid, the electrodes are energized, and the remaining amount of ink is detected by the energization. In addition, a technique is known in which an ink cartridge is provided with a piezoelectric device having a piezoelectric element in order to detect the remaining amount of ink (for example, Patent Document 2). In this technology, the remaining amount of ink is detected by vibrating the vibrating portion of the piezoelectric device and then outputting the waveform represented by the residual vibration remaining in the vibrating portion as a detection signal by the piezoelectric element.

JP 2008-73856 A JP 2006-327203 A

However, for example, when an electrode is used for detecting the remaining amount of ink, there are cases where the types of liquid that can be stored in the ink cartridge are limited. In addition, for example, when a piezoelectric device is used for detecting the remaining amount of ink, if the ink is stored in the ink cartridge for a long period of time, the accuracy of the detection signal output from the piezoelectric element is reduced, resulting in an erroneous ink remaining amount. In some cases, detection was triggered. Such a problem is a liquid storage container for supplying a liquid to the liquid ejecting apparatus regardless of the ink cartridge, and is a problem common to the liquid storage container including the liquid detection apparatus.

Therefore, the present invention provides a technique in which the type of liquid stored in a liquid storage container including a liquid detection device is not extremely limited, and the accuracy of detection signals output from the liquid detection device is reduced. It aims at providing the technology which can control.

SUMMARY An advantage of some aspects of the invention is to solve at least a part of the problems described above, and the invention can be implemented as the following forms or application examples.

Application Example 1 A liquid container for supplying a first type of liquid ejected by a liquid ejecting apparatus to the liquid ejecting apparatus, the liquid accommodating chamber capable of accommodating the first type of liquid, and the liquid A liquid supply channel capable of flowing the first type of liquid from a storage chamber to the liquid ejection device, a liquid detection device having a piezoelectric element, a communication chamber communicating with the liquid supply channel, and the communication chamber A liquid detection device that outputs a detection signal according to the vibration characteristics of the fluid present in the liquid container, the liquid container having a specific gravity smaller than the first type liquid and the first type liquid, A liquid container containing a non-volatile second type liquid that is phase-separated from the first type liquid.
According to the liquid container of Application Example 1, since the liquid detection device that outputs a detection signal corresponding to the vibration characteristics of the fluid is used, the fluid stored in the liquid container is selected regardless of conductivity or non-conductivity. be able to. Further, the vibration characteristics of the fluid vary depending on the specific gravity of the fluid. However, according to the liquid container of Application Example 1, since the non-volatile second type liquid is stored, It is possible to prevent evaporation of evaporable components (for example, moisture). Thereby, since the fluctuation | variation of the specific gravity of a 1st type liquid can be suppressed, the fall of the precision of the detection signal which a liquid detection apparatus outputs can be suppressed.

Application Example 2 In the liquid container according to Application Example 1, in the first case where the liquid of the first type exists in the communication chamber, the liquid detection device outputs a detection signal of the first type. A liquid storage container that outputs and outputs a second type of detection signal different from the first type of detection signal in the second case where the second type of liquid is present in the communication chamber.
According to the liquid container of Application Example 2, since the first type and the second type of detection signals can be output,
The remaining state of the first type liquid in the liquid container can be determined using the first type and second type detection signals.

[Application Example 3] The liquid storage container according to Application Example 2, further including an air communication hole for communicating the liquid storage chamber with the atmosphere, and the liquid detection device is further provided in the communication chamber. In the third case where the atmosphere exists, the liquid detection device is different from the detection signals of the first type and the second type.
A liquid container that outputs a species detection signal.
According to the liquid container of Application Example 3, since the first to third type detection signals can be output,
The remaining state of the first type liquid in the liquid container can be determined in more detail using the first to third type detection signals.

Application Example 4 The liquid storage container according to any one of Application Examples 1 to 3, wherein the communication chamber is in direct communication with the liquid supply channel.
According to the liquid container of Application Example 4, the second type of detection signal can be output after the remaining amount of the first type of liquid stored in the liquid container is smaller.

Application Example 5 In the liquid container according to Application Example 4 subordinate to Application Example 3, the liquid supply channel includes a liquid detection channel connected to the liquid storage chamber, and one end of the liquid An external communication flow path connected to the detection flow path and having the other end opened to the outside, and allows the first type liquid stored in the liquid storage container to flow into the liquid ejecting apparatus side. An external communication flow channel into which a liquid supply needle can be inserted, and the communication chamber communicates with the liquid detection flow channel, and the first type liquid is supplied to the liquid ejecting apparatus. In the flow direction of the first type of liquid, the volume of the downstream flow path located downstream from the communication chamber in the liquid detection flow path is V1, in a state before being attached to the liquid ejecting apparatus. The volume of the second type liquid stored in the liquid storage container is V2. If the meet the V1 ≧ V2, the liquid container.
According to the liquid container of Application Example 5, it is possible to prevent the second type liquid from being led out to the outside when the liquid detection device outputs the third type detection signal.

Application Example 6 A liquid ejecting apparatus according to any one of Application Examples 1 to 5, based on the detection signal output from the liquid detection device and the liquid detection container. A liquid ejecting apparatus comprising: a remaining liquid amount determining unit that determines a state of the amount of the first type of liquid stored therein.
According to the liquid ejecting apparatus of Application Example 6, since it is possible to determine the remaining state of the liquid container based on a highly accurate detection signal, erroneous determination of the state of the first type of remaining liquid is reduced. be able to.

The present invention can be realized in various forms. In addition to the above-described liquid container or the liquid ejecting apparatus including the liquid accommodating container, the remaining amount of the liquid container using the liquid ejecting apparatus. It can be realized in a manner such as a state determination method.

It is a figure for demonstrating the ink cartridge of 1st Example which concerns on this invention. It is a figure for demonstrating the internal structure of an ink cartridge. It is a figure for demonstrating the liquid detection apparatus 60 and the flow path 40 for liquid detection. It is a figure for demonstrating the detection signal of a piezoelectric element. It is a figure for demonstrating the ink residual amount determination method which concerns on 1st Example. It is a figure which shows the mode of the fluid in the liquid supply flow path at the time of ink supply. It is a figure for demonstrating the structure of the liquid supply flow path 40a of 2nd Example. It is a figure for demonstrating the ink residual amount determination method which concerns on 2nd Example. It is a figure which shows the mode of the fluid in the liquid supply flow path at the time of ink supply.

Next, embodiments of the present invention will be described in the following order.
A. First embodiment:
B. Second embodiment:
C. Variations:

A. First embodiment:
FIG. 1 is a view for explaining an ink cartridge 1 according to a first embodiment of the present invention. FIG. 1A is a perspective view showing an ink jet printer 10 to which the ink cartridge 1 is mounted, and FIG. 1B is a diagram showing a software configuration of the control unit 100 of the ink jet printer 10. As shown in FIG. 1 (a), an inkjet printer 10 (simply,
Also referred to as “printer 10”. ) Includes a carriage 2 that moves in the main scanning direction (paper width direction). The carriage 2 is moved through the timing belt 5 by driving the stepping motor 6. A recording head 4 is provided on the lower surface of the carriage 2, and ink is ejected through the nozzles of the recording head 4 to perform printing on the printing paper PP. Further, on the carriage 2, a cartridge housing portion in which a plurality of ink cartridges 1 can be mounted is provided. Each ink cartridge 1 has a liquid detection device (not shown) for detecting the remaining amount of ink. The liquid detection device is electrically connected to the printer 10 and can transmit and receive detection signals. In FIG. 1A, the ink cartridge 1 is a carriage 2.
However, it may be mounted on a mounting portion provided at a location different from the carriage 2 (so-called off-carriage).

As illustrated in FIG. 1B, the control unit 100 of the printer 10 includes a CPU 130, a memory 110, and a detection signal receiving unit 120. The CPU 130 determines the remaining ink amount determination unit 13.
2 and an output unit 134. The memory 110 stores a determination program for determining the remaining ink amount. The detection signal receiving unit 120 receives a detection signal output from the liquid detection device. The ink remaining amount determination unit 132 determines the remaining amount of ink stored in the ink cartridge 1 according to the detection signal and the determination program. Based on the determination result of the remaining amount state, the output unit 134 displays the remaining ink state on a display unit (not shown) included in the printer 10. Specifically, the display unit is configured by a liquid crystal panel, and displays the state of the remaining ink amount using the liquid crystal panel. In this embodiment, the ink remaining amount determination unit 132 indicates that the ink cartridge 1 has sufficiently stored ink and “printer 10 has a remaining amount of ink” indicating that the printer 10 can print. 10 is determined as one of two states of “ink end” indicating a non-printable state, and a display corresponding to the determined state is displayed on the display unit via the output unit 134.

FIG. 2 is a diagram for explaining the internal configuration of the ink cartridge 1. FIG. 2A is a first view showing the internal configuration of the ink cartridge, and FIG. 2B shows the ink cartridge 1.
4 is a diagram for explaining the flow of ink when is attached to the printer 10. FIG.

As shown in FIG. 2A, the ink cartridge 1 includes an ink 16 as a first type liquid supplied to the printer 10 and a non-volatile second type that has a specific gravity smaller than that of the ink 16 and phase-separates from the ink 16. The oil 14 and the air 18 are stored. As the ink 16, a color material can be selected and used from pigments and dyes according to the purpose. Oil 1
For example, silicone oil, various oils such as oil, soybean oil, and the like can be used as 4.
In this embodiment, silicone oil is used as the oil 14. As the ink 16 is consumed, the liquid level of the ink 16 decreases. However, the oil 14 has a viscosity equal to or lower than the viscosity of the ink 16 so that the liquid level of the oil 14 decreases as the liquid level of the ink 16 decreases. It is preferable to use the oil which has. Thereby, since air does not mix between the two phases of the ink 16 and the oil 14, an error of a detection signal output from a piezoelectric element described later can be further reduced. Further, the ink cartridge 1 contains an amount of oil 14 that can fill a recess formed by a liquid detection device described later and a liquid detection flow path forming member.
Immediately after manufacture, the air 18 may not be stored, and two liquids of the ink 16 and the silicone oil 14 may be stored.

The ink cartridge 1 includes a liquid storage chamber 20, a liquid supply channel 30, and a liquid detection device 60.
With. The liquid storage chamber 20 has an air communication hole 26 for introducing the air into the liquid storage chamber 20. Immediately after the manufacture of the ink cartridge 1, the ink 1 to the outside
The air communication hole 26 is sealed with a film 25 so that the 6 and the silicone oil 14 do not leak out. The film 25 is peeled off when the ink cartridge 1 is mounted on the printer 10.

The liquid supply channel 30 is a channel through which the ink 16 supplied from the liquid storage chamber 20 to the printer 10 circulates, and the channel cross section is a substantially circular channel. The liquid supply flow path 30 includes a liquid detection flow path 40 and an external communication flow path 50. The liquid detection flow path 40 is a flow path in which the liquid detection device 60 is disposed. The liquid detection channel 40 has one end connected to the liquid storage chamber 20 and the other end connected to the external communication channel 50 via the communication hole 422. The detailed configurations of the liquid detection channel 40 and the liquid detection device 60 will be described later.

One end of the external communication channel 50 is connected to the liquid detection channel 40 via the communication hole 422. The external communication channel 50 has an open hole 52 whose other end is open toward the outside. Further, the external communication channel 50 accommodates the seal mechanism 400. Seal mechanism 40
0 has a seal member 405, a valve member 404, and a compression coil spring 406.
The members 404, 405, and 406 are arranged in the external communication flow path 50 in this order from 2 in order. The seal member 405 is an annular member, and when the ink supply needle 42 of the printer 10 is inserted into the external communication channel 50 as shown in FIG. Sealing is performed so that there is no gap between the inner wall and the outer peripheral surface of the ink supply needle 42. As shown in FIG. 2A, the valve member 404 is a substantially columnar member, and abuts on the seal member 405 when the ink cartridge 1 (FIG. 1) is not attached to the printer 10. As a result, the surface on one end side of the valve member 404 closes the opening of the seal member 405. The compression coil spring 406 urges the valve member 404 in a direction in which the valve member 404 is brought into contact with the seal member 405. FIG.
b), when the ink supply needle 42 provided in the carriage 2 (FIG. 1) is inserted into the external communication channel 50 from the open hole 52, the ink supply needle 42 seals the valve member 404 with the seal member. Push in a direction away from 405. Then, the valve member 404 and the seal member 405
A gap is formed between the ink supply needle 42 and the ink 16 from the gap as indicated by the arrow. When the ink cartridge 1 is mounted on the printer 10 and used, the opening hole 52 opens downward in the vertical direction, and the liquid supply channel 30 forms a vertical channel.

FIG. 3 is a diagram for explaining the liquid detection device 60 and the liquid detection flow path 40. The liquid detection device 60 includes a communication plate 602 having a through hole 602a, a vibration plate 604 that blocks one opening of the through hole 602a, and a piezoelectric element 606 attached to the vibration plate 604. The through-hole 602 a forms a communication chamber 610 with the communication plate 602 and the vibration plate 604. A through hole 402 is formed in a side surface portion of the liquid detection flow path 40 in order to connect the liquid detection flow path 40 and the communication chamber 610 to a portion to which the liquid detection device 60 is attached. That is, the communication chamber 610 and the liquid detection flow path 40 are in direct communication. The piezoelectric element 606 outputs a detection signal corresponding to the vibration characteristics of the fluid (such as ink 16) present in the recess 620 formed by the communication chamber 610 and the through hole 402 to the printer 10 side.

FIG. 4 is a diagram for explaining the detection signal of the piezoelectric element. FIG. 4A is a diagram illustrating a waveform representing a drive signal applied to the piezoelectric element 606 and a counter electromotive force generated in the piezoelectric element 606. FIG. 4B is a diagram showing detection signals output from the piezoelectric element 606 for each type of fluid present in the recess 620. In addition, the horizontal axis shown to Fig.4 (a) represents time. FIG. 4 (a-1
), When a drive signal having a predetermined charging / discharging waveform is applied to the piezoelectric element 606, depending on the type of fluid existing (filled) in the concave portion 620 after application, FIG. -3), the diaphragm 604 starts free vibration (resonance). This free vibration allows the piezoelectric element 606 to output a counter electromotive force due to the piezoelectric effect and measure the period of the counter electromotive force to determine the residual state of the ink. The frequency of free vibration of the diaphragm 604 varies depending on the vibration characteristics of the fluid existing in the recess 620. For example, when the diaphragm 604 is exposed to the atmosphere (air 18) (that is, when the recess 620 is filled with the air 18), FIG.
), The frequency of the free vibration of the diaphragm 604 becomes larger. On the other hand, for example, when the diaphragm 604 is in contact with the ink 16 (that is, when the recess 620 is filled with the ink 16), the free vibration of the diaphragm 604 is caused as shown in FIG. The frequency becomes smaller. Even if the fluid in contact with the diaphragm 604 is a liquid, the frequency of free vibration (resonance frequency) varies depending on the type of the liquid. When the specific gravity of the liquid in contact with the vibration plate 604 is larger, the resonance frequency is lower, and when the specific gravity of the liquid in contact with the vibration plate 604 is smaller, the resonance frequency is higher.

As shown in FIG. 4B, when the recess 620 is filled with the ink 16, the piezoelectric element 6
06 outputs a detection signal S1 having a resonance frequency within a predetermined frequency range. Further, when the recess 620 is filled with the silicone oil 14, the piezoelectric element 606 detects the detection signal S1.
The detection signal S2 having a resonance frequency in a range different from the resonance frequency (hereinafter also referred to as “first type resonance frequency”) is output. An arbitrary frequency of the resonance frequency (hereinafter, also referred to as “second type resonance frequency”) of the detection signal S2 is larger than the first type arbitrary resonance frequency. Further, when the recess 620 is filled with the air 18, the piezoelectric element 606 outputs a detection signal S3 having a resonance frequency in a range different from the first and second types of resonance frequencies. The arbitrary frequency of the resonance frequency of the detection signal S3 (hereinafter also referred to as “third type of resonance frequency”) is the first frequency.
It is larger than any resonance frequency of the seed and the second kind. The detection signal S1 is also referred to as "first type detection signal S1," the detection signal S2 is also referred to as "second type detection signal S2," and the detection signal S3 is also referred to as "third type detection signal S3."

FIG. 5 is a diagram for explaining the ink remaining amount determination method according to the first embodiment. FIG. 6 is a diagram illustrating a state of the fluid in the liquid supply channel when ink is supplied. As shown in FIGS. 5 and 6A, when the ink 16 is filled in the recess 620, the piezoelectric element 606 outputs the first type detection signal S1 to the printer 10 (steps S10 and S12). . Then, the ink remaining amount determination unit 132 determines that sufficient ink 16 that does not cause printing failure in the printer 10 is contained in the ink cartridge 1, and the output unit 134 (FIG. 1) displays the printer 10. Display “ink present” on the screen (steps S20 and S22).

As shown in FIGS. 5 and 6B, when the ink supply from the ink cartridge 1 to the printer 10 progresses and the fluid filling the recess 620 changes from the ink 16 to the silicone oil 14, the piezoelectric element 606 has the second type. The detection signal S2 is output to the printer 10 (step S1).
4, S16). Then, the ink remaining amount determination unit 132 determines that the amount of the ink 16 contained in the ink cartridge 1 is equal to or less than the first threshold (in this embodiment, determines that no ink 16 remains), and outputs the output. The unit 134 (FIG. 1) displays “ink end” on the display unit of the printer 10.
Is displayed (steps S24 and S26). In the case of an ink end, the control unit 100 sets the printer 10 in a state in which printing cannot be performed in order to prevent defective printing.
When both the ink 16 and the silicone oil 14 exist in the recess 620, the piezoelectric element 606 outputs a signal other than the detection signals S1 to S3. However, when the control unit 100 receives another signal, the remaining ink level is determined based on the signal received before the other signal is received. That is, before the fluid filling the recess 620 changes from the ink 16 to the silicone oil 14, the ink 16 and the silicone oil 1 are stored in the recess 620.
4 exists, and the piezoelectric element 606 outputs another signal. In this case,
The remaining ink level is determined based on the detection signal S1 output before outputting other signals.

As described above, since the ink cartridge 1 includes the liquid detection device 60 having the piezoelectric element 606, the type of liquid stored in the ink cartridge 1 is extremely different in order to cause the printer 10 to determine the remaining amount of ink. There is no limit. In addition, since the ink cartridge 1 contains the non-volatile silicone oil 14 having a specific gravity smaller than that of the ink 16, it is possible to prevent the moisture of the ink 16 of the ink cartridge 1 from evaporating. Thereby, the fluctuation | variation of the specific gravity of the ink 16 can be suppressed, and the fluctuation range of the frequency which 1st type detection signal S1 has can be suppressed. Therefore, it is possible to suppress a decrease in accuracy of the detection signal (particularly, the first type detection signal S1) output from the piezoelectric element 606, and to reduce erroneous determination of the ink remaining amount state on the printer 10 side.

B. Second embodiment:
FIG. 7 is a diagram for explaining the configuration of the liquid detection flow path 40a of the second embodiment. In FIG. 7, for convenience of explanation, a part of the liquid supply flow path 30a of the ink cartridge 1a of the second embodiment is shown enlarged. Further, the sealing mechanism 400 (within the external communication channel 50 (
Illustration of FIG.2 (b)) is abbreviate | omitted. The difference from the liquid detection flow path 40 of the first embodiment is that an ink storage chamber 420 having a volume greater than or equal to a predetermined value is provided downstream of the point where the liquid detection device 60 (specifically, the recess 620) is disposed. It is a point. Since the other ink cartridge 1a has the same configuration as that of the first embodiment, the description thereof is omitted. In the second embodiment, the upstream side and the downstream side are based on the ink flow direction when the ink 16 is supplied from the ink cartridge 1 a to the printer 10. In FIG. 7, the ink 16 flows from the upper side to the lower side. Further, the remaining ink level determination unit 132 of the printer 10 according to the second embodiment (FIG. 1B).
Determines whether one of the three states of “ink near end” indicating a state in which the remaining amount of ink 16 is small in addition to “ink remaining” and “ink end” is determined. A display corresponding to the state is displayed on the display unit via the output unit 134.

As shown in FIG. 7, the liquid detection flow path 40 a includes an ink storage chamber (downstream flow path) 420 located on the downstream side of the recess 620, and an upstream side of the ink storage chamber 420 and the recess 620.
And an upstream channel 410 in contact with the. The volume V1 of the ink storage chamber 420 is not less than the volume V2 of the silicone oil 14 that is a non-volatile liquid stored in the ink cartridge 1a.

FIG. 8 is a diagram for explaining the ink remaining amount determination method according to the second embodiment. FIG. 9 is a diagram illustrating a state of the fluid in the liquid supply channel when ink is supplied. As shown in FIGS. 8 and 9A, when the ink 16 is filled in the recess 620, the piezoelectric element 606 outputs the first type detection signal S1 to the printer 10 (steps S30 and S32). . Then, the ink remaining amount determination unit 132 determines that the ink 16 is sufficiently contained in the ink cartridge 1a, and causes the output unit 134 (FIG. 1) to display “ink present” on the display unit of the printer 10. (
Steps S50 and S52).

As shown in FIGS. 8 and 9B, when the ink supply from the ink cartridge 1 to the printer 10 progresses and the fluid filling the recess 620 changes from the ink 16 to the silicone oil 14, the piezoelectric element 606 has the second type. The detection signal S2 is output to the printer 10 (step S3
4, S36). Then, the remaining ink amount determining unit 132 determines that the amount of the ink 16 contained in the ink cartridge 1a is equal to or less than the first threshold value because the recess 620 is filled with the silicone oil 14 (in this embodiment, the ink 16 (step S54, S56) in which the output unit 134 (FIG. 1) displays “ink near end” on the display unit of the printer 10. In this state, printing is possible in response to the user's print request,
By displaying “ink near end”, the user is informed that the time for replacement of the ink cartridge 1a is approaching.

As shown in FIGS. 5 and 6B, when the ink supply from the ink cartridge 1 to the printer 10 further proceeds and the fluid filling the recess 620 becomes the air 18 from the silicone oil 14, the piezoelectric element 606 is the third type. Detection signal S3 is output to the printer 10 (steps S38 and S40). Then, the ink remaining amount determination unit 132 determines that the amount of the ink 16 contained in the ink cartridge 1 is equal to or smaller than the second threshold value that is smaller than the first threshold value (in this embodiment, the ink 16 is not remaining). The output unit 134 (FIG. 1) displays “ink end” on the display unit of the printer 10 (steps S58 and S60). As in the first embodiment, in the case of an ink end, the control unit 100 puts the printer 10 into a state in which printing cannot be performed in order to prevent printing defects.
In addition, when both the ink 16 and the silicone oil 14 exist in the recessed part 620, or when both the silicone oil 14 and the air 18 exist, the piezoelectric element 606 outputs signals other than the detection signals S1 to S3. Will do. However, as in the first embodiment, in this case, when the control unit 100 receives another signal, the remaining ink level is determined based on the signal received before the other signal is received. .

As described above, since the ink cartridge 1a of the second embodiment satisfies the volume V1 ≧ volume V2, when the piezoelectric element 606 outputs the third type detection signal S3, the silicone oil 14 is in the external communication channel. 50, the printer 10 through the ink supply needle 42 (FIG. 2B).
It can prevent being supplied to the side. As a result, the remaining amount of the ink 16 is determined using more detection signals (first to third types of detection signals S1 to S3) than in the first embodiment.
Can be done. As a result, the ink 1 contained in the ink cartridge 1a
The remaining amount status of 6 can be grasped in more detail. Further, the remaining amount of the ink 16 accommodated in the ink cartridge 1a in the ink end state can be further reduced. Further, as in the first embodiment, a decrease in the accuracy of the detection signal (particularly the first type of detection signal S1) output from the piezoelectric element 606 is suppressed, and erroneous determination of the ink remaining state on the printer 10 side is reduced. it can. The first
As in the embodiment, the type of liquid stored in the ink cartridge 1a is not extremely limited.

C. Variations:
In addition, elements other than the elements described in the independent claims of the claims in the constituent elements in the above-described embodiments are additional elements and can be omitted as appropriate. Further, the present invention is not limited to the above-described examples and embodiments, and can be implemented in various forms without departing from the gist thereof. For example, the following modifications are possible.

C-1. First modification:
In the above embodiment, the liquid detection device 60 is disposed in the liquid supply flow path 30, but the present invention is not particularly limited thereto. For example, it may be arranged in the liquid storage chamber 20. Even in this case, similarly to the above-described embodiment, a decrease in the accuracy of the detection signal (particularly, the first type detection signal S1) output from the piezoelectric element 606 is suppressed, and an erroneous determination of the remaining ink amount on the printer 10 side. Can be reduced. As in the above embodiment, the type of liquid stored in the ink cartridges 1 and 1a is not extremely limited.
In the case where the liquid detection device 60 is disposed in the liquid storage chamber 20, it is preferable that the liquid detection device 60 is disposed on the side surface portion of the liquid storage chamber 20 and on the downstream side portion. By doing so, the ink cartridge 1 at the time when the ink end is determined on the printer 10 side.
The remaining amount of the ink 16 can be further reduced.

C-2. Second modification:
In the above embodiment, the ink cartridges 1 and 1a used in the printer 10 are described as examples of the liquid container. However, the present invention is not limited to this, and the liquid container of the present invention can be applied to various liquid ejecting apparatuses. It can be used.
Specific examples of the liquid ejecting apparatus include an apparatus having a color material ejecting head such as a liquid crystal display, and an electrode material (conductive paste) ejecting head used for forming an electrode such as an organic EL display and a surface emitting display (FED). And an apparatus equipped with a bio-organic substance ejecting head used for biochip production, an apparatus equipped with a sample ejecting head as a precision pipette, a printing apparatus, a microdispenser, and the like.
When the liquid container according to the present invention is used for the various liquid ejecting apparatuses described above, a liquid corresponding to the type of liquid ejected by the various liquid ejecting apparatuses, a specific gravity smaller than the liquid, and a phase corresponding to the liquid The non-volatile liquid (for example, silicone oil etc.) to isolate | separate should just be accommodated in a liquid storage container.

C-3. Third modification:
In the above embodiment, the state of the remaining ink amount is displayed on the display unit of the printer 10, but there is no particular limitation thereto. For example, the remaining amount of ink may be displayed on the screen of a personal computer connected to the printer 10.

DESCRIPTION OF SYMBOLS 1, 1a ... Ink cartridge 2 ... Carriage 4 ... Recording head 5 ... Timing belt 6 ... Stepping motor 10 ... Inkjet printer 14 ... Oil (silicone oil)
DESCRIPTION OF SYMBOLS 16 ... Ink 18 ... Air 20 ... Liquid storage chamber 25 ... Film 26 ... Atmospheric communication hole 30, 30a ... Liquid supply flow path 40, 40a ... Liquid detection flow path 42 ... Ink supply needle 50 ... External communication flow path 52 ... Open hole 60 ... Liquid detection device 100 ... Control unit 110 ... Memory 120 ... Detection signal receiving unit 130 ... CPU
132: Ink remaining amount determination unit 134 ... Output unit 400 ... Sealing mechanism 402 ... Through hole 404 ... Valve member 405 ... Seal member 406 ... Compression coil spring 410 ... Upstream channel 420 ... Ink storage chamber 422 ... Communication hole 602 ... Communication Plate 602a ... Through hole 604 ... Vibration plate 606 ... Piezoelectric element 610 ... Communication chamber 620 ... Recess S1 ... First type detection signal S2 ... Second type detection signal S3 ... Third type detection signal

Claims (6)

  1. A liquid container for supplying the liquid ejecting apparatus with the first type of liquid ejected by the liquid ejecting apparatus,
    A liquid storage chamber capable of storing the first type of liquid;
    A liquid supply channel capable of circulating the first type of liquid from the liquid storage chamber to the liquid ejecting apparatus;
    A liquid detection device having a piezoelectric element, comprising: a communication chamber communicating with the liquid supply channel; and a liquid detection device that outputs a detection signal corresponding to a vibration characteristic of a fluid existing in the communication chamber.
    The liquid storage container stores the first type liquid and a non-volatile second type liquid having a specific gravity smaller than that of the first type liquid and phase-separating from the first type liquid. Yes,
    Liquid container.
  2. The liquid container according to claim 1,
    The liquid detection device includes:
    In the first case where the first type liquid is present in the communication chamber, a first type detection signal is output,
    In the second case where the second type liquid is present in the communication chamber, a second type of detection signal different from the first type of detection signal is output,
    Liquid container.
  3. The liquid container according to claim 2, further comprising:
    Having an air communication hole for communicating the liquid storage chamber with the atmosphere;
    The liquid detection device further includes:
    In the third case where the atmosphere exists in the communication chamber, the liquid detection device is the first type and the second type.
    A liquid container that outputs a third type of detection signal different from the type of detection signal.
  4. The liquid container according to any one of claims 1 to 3,
    The communication chamber is a liquid container that is in direct communication with the liquid supply channel.
  5. The liquid container according to claim 4, which is dependent on claim 3,
    The liquid supply channel is
    A liquid detection flow path connected to the liquid storage chamber;
    An external communication flow path having one end connected to the liquid detection flow path and the other end opening toward the outside, wherein the liquid ejecting apparatus stores the first type liquid stored in the liquid storage container. An external communication channel into which a liquid supply needle to be introduced can be inserted, and
    The communication chamber communicates with the liquid detection flow path.
    A downstream flow channel located downstream of the communication chamber in the liquid detection flow channel in the flow direction of the first type liquid when the first type liquid is supplied to the liquid ejecting apparatus. The volume of V1,
    When the volume of the second type liquid stored in the liquid storage container is V2 in a state before being mounted on the liquid ejecting apparatus,
    A liquid container that satisfies V1 ≧ V2.
  6. A liquid ejecting apparatus,
    The liquid container according to any one of claims 1 to 5,
    A liquid remaining amount determination unit that determines a state of the amount of the first type of liquid stored in the liquid storage container based on a detection signal output from the liquid detection device;
    Liquid ejector.
JP2009246208A 2009-10-27 2009-10-27 Liquid container and liquid jetting device Withdrawn JP2011093103A (en)

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Cited By (1)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
JP2015039886A (en) * 2013-08-21 2015-03-02 パロ・アルト・リサーチ・センター・インコーポレーテッドPalo Alto Research Center Incorporated Inkjet print head health detection

Cited By (1)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
JP2015039886A (en) * 2013-08-21 2015-03-02 パロ・アルト・リサーチ・センター・インコーポレーテッドPalo Alto Research Center Incorporated Inkjet print head health detection

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