MadSci Network: Engineering

Re: Construction and working principles of ink jet cartridges

Date: Mon Oct 19 01:30:30 1998
Posted By: Werner Sieber, Research Scientist,Ciba Specialty Chemicals Corp.
Area of science: Engineering
ID: 904206270.Eg

Dear Mr. Yener,
Home and office ink jet printers either work by the thermal (bubble jet) or 
piezo principle. In the thermal ink jet print head, the actuator (see 
picture) is in fact a heating plate which creates a steam bubble in the ink 
, which ejects a drop of ink through the nozzle (opening) onto the paper, 
in a direction either parallel (Canon) or perpendicular(HP)to the heating 
element. In the piezo ink jet head, the actuator is a piezoelectric 
element, i.e. a piece of material which deforms under the influence of an 
electric field, and thus squeezes the ink chamber to eject an ink drop. All 
this happens very quickly, so that around 6000 drops can be ejected in one 
second! The principle is rather simple, and one wonders how it can work, 
but the details make the difference, and these are highly proprietary (See 
e.g. European Patent Application No.0588241 A2 or U.S. Patent No.4597794).
Best regards
W. Sieber

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