Patent Number: 6,637,859

Title: Ink jet mist control system

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.

Inventors: Williamson; Randal Scott (Lexington, KY), Johnson; Martin Alan (Winchester, KY), Neal; Mark Aaron (Lexington, KY)

Assignee: Lexmark International, Inc.

International Classification: B41J 2/17 (20060101); B41J 002/165 (); B41J 002/185 ()

Expiration Date: 10/28/2020