Principles of IJP
Inkjet (or ink jet) printers operate by propelling tiny droplets of liquid ink onto paper to form characters. Inkjets are the most common type of computer printer for businesses due to their low cost, high quality of output, capability of printing in vivid color, and ease of use. In the computer market, inkjet printers predominate. They are usually inexpensive, quiet, reasonably fast, and many models -- such as those offered by Dartronics -- can produce high quality output. Like most modern technologies, the present-day inkjet has built on the progress made by many earlier versions, and today use one of three main technologies: thermal, piezoelectric, and continuous.
Thermal Ink Jet
Most consumer ink jet printers work by having a print
cartridge with a series of tiny electrically-heated chambers constructed
by photolithography. To produce an image, the printer runs a pulse of
current through the heating elements. A steam "explosion" in
the chamber forms a bubble, which propels a droplet of ink onto the paper.
The ink's surface tension pulls another charge of ink into the chamber
through a narrow channel attached to an ink reservoir.
Piezoelectric Ink Jet
Most commercial and industrial ink jet printers
use a piezoelectric crystal in each nozzle instead of a heating element.
When current is applied, the crystal changes shape or size, forcing
a droplet of ink from the nozzle. Piezoelectric ink jets allow a wider
variety of inks than thermal or continuous ink jet, but are more expensive.
Continuous Ink Jet
The continuous ink jet method is used commercially for marking and coding of products and packages. The first patent on the idea is from 1867, by William Thomson. The first commercial model was introduced in 1951 by Siemens. In continuous ink jet technology, a high-pressure pump directs liquid ink from a reservoir through a microscopic nozzle, creating a continuous stream of ink droplets. A piezoelectric crystal causes the stream of liquid to break into droplets at regular intervals. The ink droplets are subjected to an electrostatic field created by a charging electrode as they form. The field is varied according to the degree of drop deflection desired. This results in a controlled, variable electrostatic charge on each droplet. Charged droplets are separated by one or more uncharged "guard droplets" to minimize electrostatic repulsion between neighboring droplets.The charged droplets are then directed (deflected) to the receptor material to be printed by electrostatic deflection plates, or are allowed to continue on undeflected to a collection gutter for reuse. The more highly charged droplets are deflected to a greater degree.
Continuous ink jet is one of the oldest ink jet technologies in use and is fairly mature. One of its advantages is a very high velocity of the ink droplets, which allows the ink drops to be thrown a long distance to the target. Another advantage is freedom from nozzle clogging (because the jet is always in use). Volatile solvents (ketones and alcohols) can therefore be used, giving the ability of the ink to "bite" into the substrate and dry quickly.
Feat of electronics - Ink Jet Printer
To print a character on the product, individual drops of ink are electronically controlled to the correct positions.
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