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Publication numberUS20020039130 A1
Publication typeApplication
Application numberUS 09/217,940
Publication dateApr 4, 2002
Filing dateDec 22, 1998
Priority dateDec 26, 1997
Also published asDE69818413D1, DE69818413T2, EP0926212A2, EP0926212A3, EP0926212B1, US6379000
Publication number09217940, 217940, US 2002/0039130 A1, US 2002/039130 A1, US 20020039130 A1, US 20020039130A1, US 2002039130 A1, US 2002039130A1, US-A1-20020039130, US-A1-2002039130, US2002/0039130A1, US2002/039130A1, US20020039130 A1, US20020039130A1, US2002039130 A1, US2002039130A1
InventorsNoribumi Koitabashi
Original AssigneeNoribumi Koitabashi
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Method of forming image and apparatus of the same
US 20020039130 A1
Abstract
In ink-jet printing, in order to improve fixation without using a means such as a heater, etc even in the case of using an ink with a slow penetration speed, black ink discharged from one head is made to be relatively low penetrative, while a processing solution, which is discharged from the other head and insolubilize dye of the above black ink, is made to be relatively high penetrative. When characters, etc. are printed on recording paper, the black ink and the processing solution thus coalesce on the recording paper, and the penetrability of the mixed solution becomes a given level or higher, and this permits to accelerate the penetration and fixation.
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Claims(37)
What is claimed is:
1. A method for forming an image comprising the step of;
forming an image by using each of different plural droplets;
wherein a concentration of a surface-active agent in a droplet, into which said different plural droplets for constituting the image to be formed have coalesced on a printing medium surface, is the critical micell concentration of said surface-active agent to pure water or higher.
2. A method for forming an image as claimed in claim 1, wherein a concentration of a surface-active agent in at least one of said different plural droplets is less than the critical micell concentration of said surface-active agent to pure water, and a concentration of a surface-active agent in at least one of another droplets is the critical micell concentration of said surface-active agent to pure water or higher.
3. A method for forming an image as claimed in claim 1, wherein said surface-active agents are ethylene oxide-2,4,7,9-tetramethyl-5-decine-4, and 7-diol, and droplets, in which concentrations of said surface-active agents are the critical micell concentrations of said surface-active agents to pure water or higher, have contents of 0.7% or higher in said droplets corresponding to said surface-active agents.
4. A method for forming an image as claimed in claim 1, wherein each of said different plural droplets is an ink droplet containing color material.
5. A method for forming an image as claimed in claim 1, wherein said different plural droplets contain processing solution droplets to insolubilize the color materials in said ink droplets and addition of said processing solution droplets onto printing medium is performed later than at least one of ink droplets.
6. A method for forming an image as claimed in claim 4, wherein said ink droplets contain ink droplets mainly having dyes as color materials.
7. A method for forming an image as claimed in claim 4, wherein said ink droplets contain ink droplets mainly having pigments as color materials.
8. A method for forming an image as claimed in claim 4, wherein said ink droplets contain ink droplets mainly having dyes as color materials and ink droplets mainly having pigments as color materials.
9. A method for forming an image as claimed in claim 7, wherein said ink droplets mainly having pigments contain dispersing agent for dispersing said pigments.
10. A method for forming an image as claimed in claim 7, wherein said ink droplets mainly having pigments contain self-dispersing type pigments.
11. A method for forming an image comprising the step of:
forming an image by using each of different plural droplets;
wherein a surface tension of a droplet, into which said different plural droplets for constituting the image to be formed have coalesced on a printing medium surface, is less than 35 dyne.
12. A method for forming an image as claimed in claim 11, wherein the surface tension of at least one of said different plural droplets is less than 35 dyne, and the surface tension of at least one of another droplets is not less than 35 dyne.
13. A method for forming an image as claimed in claim 11, wherein each of said different plural droplets is an ink droplet containing color material.
14. A method for forming an image as claimed in claim 11, wherein said different plural droplets contain processing solution droplets to insolubilize the color materials in said ink droplets and addition of said processing solution droplets onto printing medium is performed later than at least one of ink droplets.
15. A method for forming an image as claimed in claim 13, wherein said ink droplets contain ink droplets mainly having dyes as color materials.
16. A method for forming an image as claimed in claim 13, wherein said ink droplets contain ink droplets mainly having pigments as color materials.
17. A method for forming an image as claimed in claim 13, wherein said ink droplets contain ink droplets mainly having dyes as color materials and ink droplets mainly having pigments as color materials.
18. A method for forming an image as claimed in claim 16, wherein said ink droplets mainly having pigments contain dispersing agent for dispersing said pigments.
19. A method for forming an image as claimed in claim 16, wherein said ink droplets mainly having pigments contain self-dispersing type pigments.
20. A method for forming an image comprising the step of:
forming an image by using each of different plural droplets;
wherein Ka value of penetration speed of a droplet, into which said different plural droplets for constituting the image to be formed have coalesced on a printing medium surface, is not less than 5[ml/m2·msec½].
21. A method for forming an image as claimed in claim 20, wherein Ka value of at least one of said different plural droplets is not less than 5[ml/m2·msec½], and Ka value of at least one of another droplets is less than 5[ml/m2·msec½].
22. A method for forming image as claimed in claim 20, wherein each of said different plural droplets is an ink droplet containing color material.
23. A method for forming an image as claimed in claim 20, wherein said different plural droplets contain processing solution droplets to insolubilize the color materials in said ink droplets and addition of said processing solution droplets onto printing medium is performed later than at least one of ink droplets.
24. A method for forming an image as claimed in claim 22, wherein said ink droplets contain ink droplets mainly having dyes as color materials.
25. A method for forming an image as claimed in claim 22, wherein said ink droplets contain ink droplets mainly having pigments as color materials.
26. A method for forming an image as claimed in claim 22, wherein said ink droplets contain ink droplets mainly having dyes as color materials and ink droplets mainly having pigments as color materials.
27. A method for forming an image as claimed in claim 25, wherein said ink droplets mainly having pigments contain dispersing agent for dispersing said pigments.
28. A method for forming an image as claimed in claim 25, wherein said ink droplets mainly having pigments contain self-dispersing type pigments.
29. A method for forming an image comprising the step of:
forming an image by adding at least one of ink droplets before adding processing solution droplet to insolubilize color materials in said ink droplet;
wherein a concentration of a surface-active agent in a droplet, into which at least said one of ink droplets and said processing solution constituting an image to be formed have coalesced on a surface of a printing medium, is not less than the critical micell concentration of said surface-active agent to pure water.
30. A method for forming an image comprising the step of:
forming an image by adding at least one of ink droplets before adding processing solution droplet to insolubilize color materials in said ink droplet;
wherein a surface tension of the droplet, into which at least said one of ink droplets and said processing solution constituting an image to be formed have coalesced on a surface of a printing medium, is less than 35 dyne.
31. A method for foaming an image comprising the step of:
forming an image by adding at least one ink droplet before adding processing solution droplet to insolubilize color materials in said ink droplet;
wherein Ka value indicating a penetration speed of the droplets into which at least said one ink droplet and said processing solution constituting an image to be formed have coalesced on a surface of a printing medium, is not less than 5[ml/m2·msec½].
32. A method for forming an image comprising the step of:
forming an image by adding at least one ink droplet before adding processing solution droplet to insolubilize color materials in said ink droplet and then, further adding at least another ink droplet;
wherein a concentration of a surface-active agent in the droplet, into which at least said one ink droplet and said processing solution constituting an image to be formed have coalesced on a surface of a printing medium, is not less than the critical micell concentration of said surface-active agent to pure water.
33. A method for forming an image comprising the step of:
forming an image by adding at least one ink droplet before adding processing solution droplet to insolubilize color materials in said ink droplet and then, further adding at least another ink droplet;
wherein a surface tension of the droplet, into which at least said one ink droplet and said processing solution constituting an image to be formed have coalesced on a surface of a printing medium, is less than 35 dyne.
34. A method for forming an image comprising the step of:
forming an image by adding at least one ink droplet before adding processing solution droplet to insolubilize color materials in said ink droplet and then, further adding at least another ink droplet;
wherein Ka value indicating a penetration speed of the droplet, into which at least said one ink droplet and said processing solution constituting an image to be formed have coalesced on a surface of a printing medium, is not less than 5[ml/m2·msec½].
35. An image forming apparatus comprising:
means for forming an image by using discharging portions for discharging each of different plural droplets and discharging the droplets onto a printing medium from said discharging portions;
wherein the concentration of the surface-active agent in the droplet, into which said different plural droplets constituting an image to be formed have coalesced on a surface of a printing medium, becomes riot less than the critical micell concentration of said surface-active agent to pure water.
36. An image forming apparatus comprising:
means for forming an image by using discharging portions for discharging each of different plural droplets and discharging the droplets onto a printing medium from said discharging portions;
wherein the surface tension of the droplet, into which said different plural droplets constituting an image to be formed have coalesced on a surface of a printing medium, is less than 35 dyne.
37. An image forming apparatus comprising:
means for forming an image by using discharging portions for discharging each of different plural droplets and discharging the droplets onto a printing medium from said discharging portions;
wherein Ka value indicating a penetration speed of the droplet, into which said different plural droplets constituting an image to be formed have coalesced on a surface of a printing medium, is not less than 5[ml/m2·msec½].
Description

[0001] This application is based on Japanese Patent Application No. 9-361461 (1997) filed Dec. 26, 1997 and Japanese Patent Application No. 10-364571 (1998) filed Dec. 22, 1998, the contents of which are incorporated hereinto by reference.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

[0002] 1. Field of the Invention

[0003] This invention relates to a method for forming an image and an apparatus for forming the same, and particularly to fixing technology in a case of forming an image by using ink and a processing solution to insolubilize the ink.

[0004] 2. Description of the Related Art

[0005] In ink-jet printing technology for performing printing by using solution such as this kind of ink, etc., fixation of the ink after printing is one of important subjects. If the fixation is poor, there is a fear of inconvenience in handling printed matters outputted from a printer or a fear of staining other printed matters laminated when they are arranged to be laminated for being put into storage.

[0006] As a means for improving such fixing, an accelerator to evaporate solvent such as water content in the ink, etc. by using a heating means such as a heater or the like is known. The use of such a heating means permits an across-the-board or better improvement in fixation of ink with any penetrable speed from a high penetrability to a low penetrability.

[0007] However, in an arrangement of using a heater, a total power consumption of a printer becomes relatively high. Especially, when the higher speed printing is aimed at, the shorter time is required for fixing and the more heat quantity has to be supplied, and this results also in a specially large power consumption. Further, heating by heater is performed to a printing medium during feeding or conveyance, but if the heater is arranged along the conveyance path, a printer is upsized the more and this is not always a suitable arrangement from a down-sizing point of view for the equipment.

[0008] As opposed to this, it is also known that an ink with a high penetrability is used and fixation of the ink itself is thereby improved.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

[0009] The object of the present invention is to solve at least one of the following problems. Namely, they are:

[0010] to provide a new image-forming technology,

[0011] to improve fixation without using a means such as a heater, etc. even when an ink with a slow penetrability is used, and

[0012] to rapidly fix an ink containing a color material such as black, etc. while achieving a high optical density.

[0013] In a first aspect of the present invention, there is provided a method for forming an image comprising the step of:

[0014] forming an image by using each of different plural droplets,

[0015] wherein a concentration of a surface-active agent in a droplet, into which the different plural droplets for constituting the image to be formed have coalesced on a printing medium surface, is the critical micell concentration of the surface-active agent to pure water or higher.

[0016] Here, a concentration of a surface-active agent in at least one of the different plural droplets may be less than the critical micell concentration of the surface-active agent to pure water, and a concentration of a surface-active agent in at least one of another droplets may be the critical micell concentration of the surface-active agent to pure water or higher.

[0017] The surface-active agents may be ethylene oxide-2,4,7,9-tetramethyl-5-decine-4, and 7-diol, and droplets, in which concentrations of the surface-active agents are the critical micell concentrations of the surface-active agents to pure water or higher, may have contents of 0.7% or higher in the droplets corresponding to the surface-active agents.

[0018] In a second aspect of the present invention, there is provided a method for forming an image comprising the step of:

[0019] forming an image by using each of different plural droplets,

[0020] wherein a surface tension of a droplet, into which the different plural droplets for constituting the image to be formed have coalesced on a printing medium surface, is less than 35 dyne.

[0021] Here, the surface tension of at least one of the different plural droplets may be less than 35 dyne, and the surface tension of at least one of another droplets may be not less than 35 dyne.

[0022] In a third aspect of the present invention, there is provided a method for forming an image comprising the step of:

[0023] forming an image by using each of different plural droplets,

[0024] wherein Ka value of penetration speed of a droplet, into which the different plural droplets for constituting the image to be formed have coalesced on a printing medium surface, is not less than 5[ml/m2·msec½].

[0025] Here, Ka value of at least one of the different plural droplets may be not less than 5[ml/m2·msec½], and Ka value of at least one of another droplets may be less than 5[ml/m2·msec½].

[0026] In any of the above aspects of the present invention, each of the different plural droplets may be an ink droplet containing color material.

[0027] The different plural droplets may contain processing solution droplets to insolubilize the color materials in the ink droplets and addition of the processing solution droplets onto printing medium may be performed later than at least one of ink droplets.

[0028] The ink droplets may contain ink droplets mainly having dyes as color materials.

[0029] The ink droplets may contain ink droplets mainly having pigments as color materials.

[0030] The ink droplets may contain ink droplets mainly having dyes as color materials and ink droplets mainly having pigments as color materials.

[0031] The ink droplets mainly having pigments may contain dispersing agent for dispersing the pigments.

[0032] The ink droplets mainly having pigments may contain self-dispersing type pigments.

[0033] In a fourth aspect of the present invention, there is provided a method for forming an image comprising the step of:

[0034] forming an image by adding at least one of ink droplets before adding processing solution droplet to insolubilize color materials in the ink droplet,

[0035] wherein a concentration of a surface-active agent in a droplet, into which at least the one of ink droplets and the processing solution constituting an image to be formed have coalesced on a surface of a printing medium, is not less than the critical micell concentration of the surface-active agent to pure water.

[0036] In a fifth aspect of the present invention, there is provided a method for forming an image comprising the step of:

[0037] forming an image by adding at least one of ink droplets before adding processing solution droplet to insolubilize color materials in the ink droplet,

[0038] wherein a surface tension of the droplet, into which at least the one of ink droplets and the processing solution constituting an image to be formed have coalesced on a surface of a printing medium, is less than 35 dyne.

[0039] In a sixth aspect of the present invention, there is provided a method for forming an image comprising the step of:

[0040] forming an image by adding at least one ink droplet before adding processing solution droplet to insolubilize color materials in the ink droplet,

[0041] wherein Ka value indicating a penetration speed of the droplet, into which at least the one ink droplet and the processing solution constituting an image to be formed have coalesced on a surface of a printing medium, is not less than 5[ml/m2·msec½].

[0042] In a seventh aspect of the present invention, there is provided a method for forming an image comprising the step of:

[0043] forming an image by adding at least one ink droplet before adding processing solution droplet to insolubilize color materials in the ink droplet and then, further adding at least another ink droplet,

[0044] wherein a concentration of a surface-active agent in the droplet, into which at least the one ink droplet and the processing solution constituting an image to be formed have coalesced on a surface of a printing medium, is not less than the critical micell concentration of the surface-active agent to pure water.

[0045] In an eighth aspect of the present invention, there is provided a method for forming an image comprising the step of:

[0046] forming an image by adding at least one ink droplet before adding processing solution droplet to insolubilize color materials in the ink droplet and then, further adding at least another ink droplet,

[0047] wherein a surface tension of the droplet, into which at least the one ink droplet and the processing solution constituting an image to be formed have coalesced on a surface of a printing medium, is less than 35 dyne.

[0048] In a ninth aspect of the present invention, there is provided a method for forming an image comprising the step of:

[0049] forming an image by adding at least one ink droplet before adding processing solution droplet to insolubilize color materials in the ink droplet and then, further adding at least another ink droplet,

[0050] wherein Ka value indicating a penetration speed of the droplet, into which at least the one ink droplet and the processing solution constituting an image to be formed have coalesced on a surface of a printing medium, is not less than 5[ml/m2·msec½].

[0051] In a tenth aspect of the present invention, there is provided an image forming apparatus comprising:

[0052] means for forming an image by using discharging portions for discharging each of different plural droplets and discharging the droplets onto a printing medium from the discharging portions,

[0053] wherein the concentration of the surface-active agent in the droplet, into which the different plural droplets constituting an image to be formed have coalesced on a surface of a printing medium, becomes not less than the critical micell concentration of the surface-active agent to pure water.

[0054] In an eleventh aspect of the present invention, there is provided an image forming apparatus comprising:

[0055] means for forming an image by using discharging portions for discharging each of different plural droplets and discharging the droplets onto a printing medium from the discharging portions,

[0056] wherein the surface tension of the droplet, into which the different plural droplets constituting an image to be formed have coalesced on a surface of a printing medium, is less than 35 dyne.

[0057] In a twelfth aspect of the present invention, there is provided an image forming apparatus comprising:

[0058] means for forming an image by using discharging portions for discharging each of different plural droplets and discharging the droplets onto a printing medium from the discharging portions,

[0059] wherein Ka value indicating a penetration speed of the droplet, into which the different plural droplets constituting an image to be formed have coalesced on a surface of a printing medium, is not less than 5[ml/m2·msec½].

[0060] According to the above arrangement, a critical micell concentration, a surface tension, and Ka value, which represent a penetrability of a droplet of different plural droplets such as those of ink, processing solution, etc. joined with a printing medium, have predetermined values or higher of a penetrability, therefore, even if some of the individual droplets have a low penetrability, the penetration of the joined droplets is accelerated.

[0061] Thus, even if ink of a low penetrability are used for improving optical density value (OD value) or suppressing feathering, a high penetrability is shown as a coalescent one and the fixation is not inhibited.

[0062] The above and other objects, effects, features and advantages of the present invention will become more apparent from the following description of the embodiments thereof taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0063]FIG. 1 is a chart showing a relationship between a concentration of acetylenol contained in an ink, etc. and a fixing time to a printing medium such as the ink, etc.;

[0064]FIG. 2 is a chart showing a relationship between a content rate of acetylenol and K-value representing a penetration speed;

[0065]FIGS. 3A and 3B are characteristic curves showing relationships between a penetration quantity and an elapse of time;

[0066]FIG. 4 is a chart showing a relationship between a content rate of acetylenol and a surface tension;

[0067]FIG. 5 is a cross-sectional view showing a schematic arrangement of an ink-jet printer related to an embodiment in accordance with the present invention;

[0068]FIG. 6 is a block diagram showing an example of a control system arrangement of the above-mentioned ink-jet printer;

[0069]FIG. 7 is a cross-sectional view showing a schematic arrangement of an ink-jet printer related to another embodiment in accordance with the present invention; and

[0070]FIG. 8 is a perspective illustration showing an arrangement of an ink-jet printer related to further embodiment in accordance with the present invention.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

[0071] The embodiments in accordance with the present invention have been obtained as the results of the experiments or analyses by the inventor of the present invention.

[0072] When printing was carried out in a black (Bk) ink on a sheet of ordinary paper and the behavior was observed, an ink with a slow penetration almost kept staying in a state of droplet on the paper in spite of an elapse of time, however, as soon as printing had been done in droplet with a high penetrability superimposed on the former printing, the two kinds of solution mixed together, and penetrated in the paper within a relatively short time.

[0073] Providing various solutions with high penetrabilities by admixing various concentrations of nonionic surface-active agent such an ethylenoxide-2,4,7,9-tetramethyl-5-decyne-4,7-diol (hereinafter also called “acetylenol.” A brand name manufactured by Kawaken Fine Chemical Co., Ltd.), and printing in these acetylenol was done on BK ink, what is called, on solid printed image, and fixing time was measured. In this case, when analysis was made by varying a discharge volume of Bk ink and that of high penetrability solution for overprinting later, then, the fixing time was about the same as that for discharging a sum of prior mixture of Bk ink and a high penetrability solution in volume which were discharged separately in the above.

[0074] Namely, it is presumed that when they were. discharged separately, the two kinds of the solutions were mixed immediately and changed into one solution which had a uniform and an approximately same penetrability as a previous mixture of them, and penetrated.

[0075] Here, a further study showed as shown in FIG. 1 that when mixed solutions of various concentrations of acetylenol were added onto paper A with relatively poor fixation and paper B with relatively good fixation, fixation is steeply speeded up at a concentration of 0.7% or higher which is the critical micell concentration of water, as illustrated by a solid line and a broken line. In this case, paper A had a fixing time of about 1 second or less, while paper B had 0.5 seconds or less.

[0076] Namely, the inventor of the present invention has originated a new idea of forming an image not by one droplet image forming but by different plural droplets of compound ink on a printing medium. Namely, this is such a new method of image forming as a concentration of a surface active agent in the compound ink droplets is equal to a critical micell concentration to pure water or higher.

[0077] Furthermore, the inventor of the present invention takes notice of ink in ink-jet printing technology wherein one dot is generally formed from a plurality of ink droplets and intends to positively make use of this method to control the penetrability of a mixed solution compounded and finally obtained.

[0078] As being obvious from the above, an embodiment of the present invention is to use a plurality of different kinds of solutions, to mix them on a printing medium, and to make the mixed solution have a predetermined penetrability or higher. To be more in details, each of a plurality of the above-mentioned solutions to be mixed may basically have arbitrary penetrability and has only to reveal a predetermined penetrability or higher when they are compounded into one mixed solution. For example, some kinds of the solutions to be mixed may have the above predetermined penetrability or lower one, and the other kinds of the solutions may reveal the above predetermined penetrability or higher one.

[0079] Here, concerning “kind” of a solution in this specification, it is defined as being “different kind” when components or, more widely, characteristics are different from each other. For example, processing solution to insolubilize an ink and its color material, pigment ink and dye ink among inks, further, ink containing dispersing agent (hereinafter called “pigment ink with dispersing agent”), and self-dispersing type ink containing no dispersing agent (hereinafter called “ink without dispersing agent”, respectively, may comprise each solution to be mixed in accordance with this embodiment. Further, different color inks and inks containing different components may comprise the above-mentioned solutions to be mixed, respectively. Furthermore, an ink containing pigment and less component ratio of dye, and reversely, an ink containing dye and a less component ratio of pigment may also comprise each of the above-mentioned solutions to be mixed, respectively.

[0080] Penetrability mentioned in this specification will briefly be described in the following.

[0081] When penetrability is expressed by an ink volume per 1 m2, it is known that a penetration amount of ink (a unit: ml/m2=μm) can be expressed by Bristow's formula as shown below.

V=Vr+Ka(t−tw)½  [Formula 1:]

[0082] wherein, Lt>tw

[0083] Immediately after droplets of ink are landed on a surface of a printing medium, the droplets of ink are mostly absorbed in rugged part on the surface (rugged part on the surface of the printing medium), and little is permeated into the printing medium. This penetration time is expressed by tw (a wet time) and an absorption volume in the rugged part is expressed by Vr. When an elapse of time after deposition of the droplets of the ink exceeds tw, penetration volume is increased in the volume proportional to (½)th power of the exceeding time (t−tw). Ka is a proportional factor of this increment and shows a value according to a penetration speed.

[0084]FIG. 2 shows values of the proportional factor Ka to content ratios of acetylenol in an ink obtained by experiments.

[0085] Ka values were measured by using a solution dynamic penetrability measuring device S (made by Toyo Seiki Seisakusho) in accordance with Bristow method. In these experiments, PB paper of Canon Co., Ltd., who is the applicant of the present invention, was used as a printing medium (recording paper). This PB paper is usable not only for a copier or a laser beam printer (LBP) using an electro-photographic method, but also for printing using an ink-jet recording method.

[0086] Further, a similar result could be obtained also to PPC paper, an electro-photographic paper of Canon Co., Ltd.

[0087]FIG. 2 shows a curve on which Ka values are increasing (ordinate of axis) with increasing content rates (axis of abscissa). The proportional factor Ka is determined by the content by percentage of acetylenol. Consequently, a penetration speed of ink substantially depends on a content rate of acetylenol. Further, the line segments crossing the curve and in parallel with the ordinate of axis show ranges of dispersions of the measurement results.

[0088]FIG. 3 shows a characteristic curves of a relationship between penetration quantity of ink and penetration speed and shows results of the experiments on a recording paper of 64 g/mm2 weight, about 80 μm thickness and about 50% percentage of voids.

[0089] In FIG. 3A, the abscissa represents square root of an elapse of time t (msec½), and in FIG. 3B, the abscissa represents the elapse of time t (msec). Further, in both figures, the ordinate represents penetration amount (μm), and curves are in the case of 0%, 0.35% and 1% acetylenol content, respectively.

[0090] As being obvious from both figures, the more the acetylenol content is, the more becomes the penetration amount of ink to the elapse of time, namely, the higher the penetrability is. In the graphics shown in FIG. 3, such an tendency can be seen that the higher the content of acetylenol is, the shorter the wet time tw becomes, and also, the higher the content rate of acetylenol is, the higher the penetrability is, even during the time before reaching tw.

[0091] In the case of an ink containing no acetylenol (content rate is 0%), the ink is a low or poor permeable ink. Further, in the case that acetylenol is mixed in a rate of 1% content, the ink has a property of permeating into recording paper in a short time and has property as a high permeable ink which will be specified later. And, the ink mixed with 0.35% content of acetylenol has a property of an intermediate, semi-permeable ink between the two.

TABLE 1
Surface
Ka value Acetylenol tension
(ml/m2 · msec1/2) content (%) (dyne/cm)
Poor less than 1.0 less than 0.2 40 or larger
permeable ink
Semi- 1.0 or more 0.2 or more 35 or larger
permeable ink but less than but less than but smaller
5.0 0.7 than 40
High- 5.0 or more 0.7 or more smaller than
permeable ink 35

[0092] The above-mentioned table 1 shows Ka values, acetylenol contents (%), and surface tensions (dyne/cm) to “poor permeable ink”, “semi-permeable ink”, and “high permeable ink”, respectively. The higher Ka value is, the higher the penetrability of each ink to recording paper as a printing medium becomes. Namely, the smaller the surface tension is, the higher the penetrability is.

[0093] The Ka values in Table 1 were, as described above, obtained from the measurements by using a solution dynamic penetrability test device S (made by Toyo Seiki Seisakusho) in accordance with Bristow method. In the experiments, said PB paper of Canon Co., Ltd. was used as recording paper. Further, similar results could be obtained on PPC paper of said Canon Co., Ltd.

[0094] Here, the ink specified as “high permeable ink” has 0.7% or more content of acetylenol and this is in the range of penetrability in which the excellent result could be obtained as described above.

[0095] Here, it is known that as a condition for containing a surface active agent in a solution, there is a critical micell concentration (hereinafter also called “CMC”) of the surface active agent for the solution. This critical micell concentration is a concentration when a concentration of a surface active agent solution is rising up and suddenly tens of molecules are associated with each other to form micell. Acetylenol contained in the above-described ink for preparing penetrability is a kind of surface active agent, and a critical micell concentration exists for this acetylenol as well according to solutions.

[0096]FIG. 4 is a characteristic curve showing a relationship with a surface tension when the content rate of acetylenol to water was prepared. Since there is no reduction in the surface tension when micell is formed, it is apparent from the figure that the critical micell concentration of acetylenol to pure water is about 0.7%. And, comparing the CMC shown by the figure with the above Table 1, it is apparent that the “high penetrable ink” contains acetylenol of its CMC to pure water or higher.

[0097] Based on the above definition of penetrability, etc., several embodiments in accordance with the present invention will be described below.

[0098] Embodiment 1

[0099] This embodiment is to perform printing by using an ink containing a predetermined color material such as dye or pigment, etc and a processing solution to make this color material insoluble. Namely, by discharging the above-mentioned ink at first and then adding the processing solution, a coalescent mixed solution is formed on a printing medium, and the concentration of the surface active agent in the solution is made to CMC of the surface active agent to pure water or higher. Thus, a high OD value is obtained as a result of the printing, and further, a high speed fixing is achieved.

[0100] Moreover, in the case of the above, it is also possible to suppress feathering and print sharper dot edges to be formed by making the penetrability of ink lower while keeping the concentration of the above surface-active agent in the mixed solution. Further, when black (Bk) dye or Bk pigment is used for a color material of the above-mentioned ink, it becomes possible to print characters, etc. with less feathering, high OD value, and excellent printing quality.

[0101] Moreover, regarding the dye ink and pigment ink in the above explanation, as described above, a less component ratio of dye or pigment may partly be contained in the pigment ink or the dye ink, respectively. This is the same with the other embodiments which will be described below. From this view point, an ink containing only dye and an ink partly containing pigment in the dye are defined as “an ink mainly with dye”, while an ink containing only pigment and an ink partly containing dye in the pigment are defined as “an ink mainly with pigment.”

[0102] Embodiment 2

[0103] In this embodiment, two kinds of ink such as dye ink and pigment ink are prepared, and by making them coalescent on a printing medium and then adding a processing solution thereon, a mixture of three kinds of solutions is obtained. And, a concentration of the surface active agent in this mixed solution is made to CMC of the surface active agent to water or higher.

[0104] According to this embodiment, as the above-described embodiment 1, it becomes possible to suppress feathering and print with high OD, while achieving a high speed fixing, and furthermore, it is possible to produce an effect that each arising problem can be solved or relaxed when each of pigment ink and dye ink, and a processing solution are used for printing.

[0105] Namely, when only pigment ink and processing solution are used, a relatively strong cohesive force of the pigment generated by a reaction with the processing solution may cause to generate “cracks” or the like in the fixed color agent, however, in the case of this embodiment, high viscosity reactant of the dye being reacted with the processing solution at the same time fills the “cracks” so that they cannot be recognized. On the other hand, when only dye ink and processing solution are used, it is possible to improve OD value by keeping the reactants of the processing solution and the dye remaining relatively on the cortex of the printing medium, however, an increase in OD value is not expectable in many cases depending on the characteristic of the dye itself. In the case of this embodiment, however, the inventor of the present invention has confirmed an effect that OD value becomes higher by such an presumed action, etc. as the dye reactants reacted with the processing solution incorporate cohesive substances to become relatively large particles, and thus, more particles of pigment remain on the cortex of the printing medium.

[0106] Moreover, regarding order of putting dye ink and pigment ink, any order produces the effect described above.

[0107] Embodiment 3

[0108] In this embodiment, an ink containing both dye and pigment and a processing solution are made coalescent on a printing medium, and a concentration of the surface active agent of the mixed ink is made to CMC of the surface active agent to water or higher.

[0109] In this case, it is possible to produce the same effect as that in the embodiment 2 described above, wherein the dye ink and the pigment ink were put individually.

[0110] Embodiment 4

[0111] This embodiment replaces the pigment ink in the above embodiment 2 with an ink without dispersing agent. In this case, in addition to the effect common to the embodiments in accordance with the present invention and the effect in the embodiment 2 described above, it becomes possible to suppress “seepage” of fine reacted particles of cohesive substances that is generated when an ink without dispersing agent and a processing solution are used. In the case of this embodiment, the applicant of the present invention assumes that this is because the high viscosity substances of the simultaneously reacted dye take in the above-mentioned particles for suppressing the “seepage”.

[0112] Embodiment 5

[0113] This embodiment corresponds to a case wherein an ink mixed with dye and pigment beforehand does not contain dispersing agent for the pigment in the embodiment 3.

[0114] In this case, an effect similar to that in the embodiment 4 can basically be obtained.

[0115] Embodiment 6

[0116] This embodiment relates to putting order of ink and processing solution, and combinations of each ink and processing solution are applicable to this embodiment.

[0117] For example, when printing is performed by using three droplets of dye ink, ink without dispersing agent, and processing solution, the inks or the processing solution are put in order of dye ink, processing solution, and ink without dispersing agent, or in order of ink without dispersing agent, processing solution, ad dye ink. Namely, the processing solution is added between the two inks added, and they are mixed on the printing medium to make the concentration of the surface active agent in their mixed solution to CMC of the surface active agent or higher.

[0118] In this case, it becomes possible to perform high quality printing with relatively high OD value and suppressed feathering.

[0119] The following are the descriptions on detailed examples of the image-forming apparatus to which the above embodiments are applicable.

EXAMPLE 1

[0120]FIG. 5 is a cross sectional view showing schematic configuration of a full line type printer relating to the example 1.

[0121] This printer 1 adopts an ink-jet printing system to perform printing by discharging or ejecting ink or processing solution from a plurality of full line type printing heads arranged at predetermined positions along a conveying or feeding direction of a recording medium as a printing medium, and operates by being controlled by the control circuit in FIG. 6 which will be described later.

[0122] Each of the printing heads 101Bk, 101S, 101C, 101M, and 101Y of a head group 101 g has about 7200 pieces of ink discharging portions or nozzles arrayed in the width direction (perpendicular to this figure) of the recording paper conveyed in the direction of A in the figure, and can operate printing on a recording paper up to the size A3. These heads make use of thermal energy to generate bubbles in the ink, etc. and discharge the ink or the processing solution by the pressure of the bubbles.

[0123] The recording paper 103 is conveyed in the direction of A by means of a pair of resist rollers driven by a conveyor or feed motor, and is guided by a pair of guide plates 115 and is conveyed onto a conveyor belt 111 after registration of the tip edge of the paper. The endless conveyor belt 111 is borne by two pieces of rollers 112, 113, and a vertical deviation on the upper part of the belt is restricted by a platen 104. The roller 113 is driven to rotate and the recording paper 103 is thereby conveyed. Moreover, absorption of the recording paper 103 to the conveyor belt 111 is done by means of electrostatic absorption. The roller 113 is driven to rotate in the direction of conveying the recording paper in the direction of the arrow A. The recording paper 103 printed thereon by the printing head group 101 g is ejected onto a storage tray 116.

[0124] Each head of the recording head group 101 g comprised of the black dye ink head 101Bk, the processing solution head 101S for discharging the processing solution, each color ink head (a cyan head 101C, a magenta head 101M, and a yellow head 101Y) is arranged along the conveying direction A of the recording paper 103 as shown in the figure. Here, one discharging portion of the dye ink head 101Bk has a discharging amount of 30 pl, and that of each of the other heads has a discharging amount of 15 pl. And, it becomes possible to print black characters and colored images by discharging each color of ink and processing solution from each printing head.

[0125]FIG. 6 is a block diagram showing a control configuration of the full line type printer 1 illustrated in FIG. 5

[0126] A system controller 201 has a micro processor, a ROM for storing a control program executed in this printing apparatus, a RAM used as a work area when the micro processor operates processing, etc., and executes the control of the entire printing apparatus. A motor 204 is controlled in the driving via a driver 202, and rotates the roller 113 shown in FIG. 5 to convey the recording paper.

[0127] A host computer 206 transfers information to be printed to the printer 1 in accordance with this example, and controls its printing operation. A receiving buffer 207 temporarily stores data from the host computer 206 to keep them therein until a system controller 201 reads the data. A frame memory 208 is a memory for expanding printing data into image data, and has an enough size of memory for printing. This example is described assuming that the frame memory 208 has a memory capacity permitting to store data for a sheet of recording paper, however, the present invention is not to be restricted by a capacity of the frame memory.

[0128] Buffers 209S, 209P are for temporarily storing data to be printed, and their memory capacities are variable depending on the number of the nozzles of the printing heads. A printing control part 210 is for properly controlling drives of the printing heads according to the instructions from the system controller 201, and controls a driving frequency, the number of printing data, etc., and also creates data for making the processing solution to be discharged. A driver 211 drives a head part 212S as the printing head 101S for discharging the processing solution and a head part 212P including the printing heads 101Bk, 101C, 101M, 101Y for discharging each ink, and is controlled according to signal from the printing control part 201.

[0129] In the above configuration, the printing data are transferred from the host computer 206 to the receiving buffer 207 for being temporarily stored therein. Next, the stored printing data are read by the system controller 201 and expanded to the buffers 209S, 209P. Further, it is possible to detect paper-jamming, ink-exhaustion, paper-out, etc. by means of each detection signal from abnormality detection sensors.

[0130] The printing control part 210 creates data for the processing solution for discharging it, based on the image data expanded to the buffers 209S, 209P and controls printing actions of each printing head based on the printing data in each buffer 209S, 209P and the data for the processing solution.

[0131] In this example, a low penetration speed ink, namely, poor permeable ink shown in Table 1, is used for the black dye ink to be discharged from the head 101Bk, and each high penetration speed processing solution and ink, namely, the high penetrability ink shown in Table 1 is used for each processing solution, cyan ink, magenta ink and yellow ink discharged from the heads 102S, 101C, 101M, 101Y.

[0132] Compositions of processing solutions and each ink used in this example are as the following. Here, the contents shown below are indicated by pts. wt.

[processing solution]
Glycerin 7 pts. wt.
Diethylene glycol 5 pts. wt.
Acetylenol EH 2.1 pts. wt.  
(made by Kawaken Fine Chemical Co., Ltd.)
Poly-allylamine 4 pts. wt.
(molecular weight: 1500 or less,
mean molecular weight: about 1000)
acetic acid 4 pts. wt.
Benzalkonium chloride 0.5 pts. wt.  
Tri-ethylene glycol mono-butyl ether 3 pts. wt.
Water Remainder
[Yellow (Y) ink]
C. I. Direct yellow 86 3 pts. wt.
Glycerin 5 pts. wt.
Diethylene glycol 5 pts. wt.
Acetylenol EH 1 pts. wt.
(made by Kawaken Fine Chemical Co., Ltd.)
Water Remainder
[Magenta (M) ink]
C. I. Acid red 3 pts. wt.
Glycerin 5 pts. wt.
Diethylene glycol 5 pts. wt.
Acetylenol EH 1 pts. wt.
(made by Kawaken Fine Chemical Co., Ltd.)
Water Remainder
[Cyan (C) ink]
C. I. Direct Blue 199 3 pts. wt.
Glycerin 5 pts. wt.
Diethylene glycol 5 pts. wt.
Acetylenol EH 1 pts. wt.
(made by Kawaken Fine Chemical Co., Ltd.)
Water Remainder
[Black (Bk) dye ink]
Food Black 2 4 pts. wt.
Glycerin 7.5 pts. wt.  
Diethylene glycol 7.5 pts. wt.  
Urea 7.5 pts. wt.  
Water Remainder

[0133] In the example, the nozzles of each printing head are arrayed at a concentration of 600 dpi (dots per inch), and further, operates printing at a concentration of 600 dpi in the direction of the recording paper conveyance. Thus, the dot concentration of an image, etc. printed in accordance with this example 600 dpi in both row and column directions. Further, since the discharging frequency of each head is 4 kHz, the conveyance speed of the recording paper is about 170 mm/sec. Moreover, a distance Di (refer to FIG. 5) between the dye ink head 101Bk and the processing solution head 101S is 40 mm, therefore, it takes about 0.24 sec from discharging of the black dye ink on a position until discharging of the processing solution on the position.

[0134] In the above configuration, 30 pl of dye Bk ink is discharged from the head 101Bk, and then 15 pl of the processing solution is discharged from the head 101S, to form one black dot. In this case, since the antecedently discharged dye ink is a poor permeable ink, it penetrates little into the recording paper and about 45 pl of the mixed solution is formed when the processing solution is deposited onto the antecedently landed ink. In this case, the acetylenol contents (wt. %) of the Bk ink and the processing solution before mixing are 0% and 2.1% respectively, while the content (wt. %) of acetylenol, surface active agent of the mixed solution, becomes 0.7%. Thus, the above mixed solution becomes a high penetrability ink, which is fixed quickly. Further, the mixed solution has then about 5.0 (ml/m2·msec½) of Ka value and about 33 dyne/cm of surface active tension.

[0135] When 100% duty printing, what is called “solid printing”, was performed, the fixing time was about 1 second after discharging of the processing solution.

EXAMPLE 2

[0136] This example is different from the above example 1 in the point that a pigment ink Bk without dispersing agent is discharged from the head 101Bk shown in FIG. 5.

[0137] In this example, discharging amount per one nozzle of the head 101Bk is 30 pl as in the above example 1, and discharging amount of the processing solution is also 15 pl as in the above. However, each acetylenol content of the Bk ink and the processing solution is 0.2% and 1.7%, respectively. Thus, the acetylenol content becomes 0.7% when they are mixed on the recording paper, and this mixed solution shows a high penetrability and is fixed quickly.

[0138] Also in this example, a printing method similar to the above was employed for fixing time measurement, and similarly, one second was obtained for the fixing time.

[0139] The above-mentioned pigment Bk ink without dispersing agent is as the following.

[0140] For a pigment used for this example, a self-dispersion type pigment is used, to which at least a kind of anionic group is bonded to carbon black surface directly or via other atomic group, but for a color material, a self-dispersion type carbon black is used, to which at least a kind of hydrophilic group is bonded directly or via other atomic group. This results in eliminating the need for dispersing agent to disperse carbon black required for conventional ink. For the use in this example, ionized self-dispersing type carbon black is desirable, and anionically electrified one is suitable.

[0141] In the case of anionically electrified carbon black, for example, —COOM, —SO3M, —PO3HM, —PO3M2, SO2NH2, —SO2NHCOR, etc. can be mentioned as a hydrophilic group bonded to the surface (wherein M in the formulae represents hydrogen atom, alkaline metal, ammonium or organic ammonium, and R represents an alkyl group with 1 to 12 carbon atoms, a phenyl group which is allowed to have substituent, or a naphtyl group which is allowed to have substituent). In this example, especially among the above groups, such carbon black is preferably used, as is bonded with —COOM or —SO3M on the surface of the carbon black and is anionically electrified.

[0142] Also, for “M” of the above-mentioned hydrophilic groups, for example, lithium, sodium, potassium, etc. can be mention as an alkaline metal, and for organic ammonium, mono-, di- or tri-methyl ammonium, mono-, di- or tri-ethyl ammonium, mono-, di- or tri-methanol ammonium, etc. can be mentioned. As a method of obtaining anionically electrified carbon black, namely, a method of introducing —COONa onto the surface of carbon black, for example, such a method can be mentioned as carbon black is treated with sodium hypochlorite by oxidation, however, it is obvious that the present invention is not to be restricted by this method.

[0143] Pigment Bk ink has the following composition.

[Black Bk pigment ink]
Pigment dispersing solution 50 pts. wt. 
Glycerin 7 pts. wt.
Tri-ethylene glycol 7 pts. wt.
Acetylenol 0.2 pts. wt.  
(made by Kawaken Fine Chemical Co., Ltd.)
Water Remainder

[0144] The above-mentioned pigment dispersing solution is as follows.

[0145] [Pigment Dispersing Solution]

[0146] At 5° C., 1.58 g anthranilic acid was added into solution in which 5 g concentrated hydrochloric acid is dissolved in 5.3 g water. This solution was always kept at 10° C. or the less, by being stirred in an ice bath, and another solution dissolving 1.78 g sodium nitrite added to 8.7 g water was added to that solution. Further, after 15 minutes stirring, 20 g carbon black, of which oil absorption is 120 ml/100 g DBP and a surface area is 320 m2/g, was added to the former solution in a mixed state. And then, the mixture was stirred for another 15 minutes. The obtained slurry was filtered by Toyo Filter Paper No. 2 (made by Advantis, Ltd.), and after the pigment particles were sufficiently rinsed and dried in an oven at 110° C., water was added to the pigment for making 10 wt. % pigment aqueous solution. By this method, a pigment dispersing solution was obtained as expressed by the formula below, in which anionically electrified self-dispersed type carbon black bonded to hidrophilic group via phenyl group is dispersed on the surface.

EXAMPLE 3

[0147] In this example, two heads are used with Bk ink, and are configured to discharge dye ink and pigment ink, respectively. FIG. 7 is a schematic sectional view showing a printing apparatus relating to this example.

[0148] A head 101Bk 1 discharges 15 pl dye Bk ink per each nozzle, and a head 101Bk 2 discharges 15 pl pigment Bk ink per each nozzle. Also, a processing solution head 101S discharges 15 pl processing solution per each nozzle. And, these dye Bk ink, pigment Bk ink, and processing solution contain 0%, 0.2%, and 1.9% acetylenol, respectively.

[0149] According to the above composition, when a dot of Bk ink is formed in printing, the above-mentioned dye Bk ink, pigment Bk ink, and processing solution are made coalescent on the recording paper 103, and as a result, the acetylenol content of the mixed solution becomes 0.7%, and the mixed solution becomes highly penetrative.

EXAMPLE 4

[0150] In this example, the order of discharging the pigment ink and dye ink is reversed compared with the above example 3. Namely, in FIG. 7, the head 101Bk 1 discharges pigment ink, and the head 101BK2 discharges dye ink. In this case also, an effect similar to that from the above example 3 can be achieved.

EXAMPLE 5

[0151] In this example, one head is provided for Bk ink as shown in FIG. 5, and this head discharges a mixed ink of dye Bk ink and pigment Bk ink. The discharging amount of this head is 30 pl containing 0.1% acetylenol, while 15 pl processing solution is discharged as in each example described above but 1.9% acetylenol is contained. Thus, acetylenol content of a mixed solution of the mixed Bk ink and the processing solution becomes 0.7%

[0152] This mixed Bk ink has the following composition.

[Mixed Bk ink]
Pigment dispersing solution 25 pts. wt. 
Food black 2 2 pts. wt.
Glycerin 6 pts. wt.
Tri-ethylene glycol 5 pts. wt.
Acetylenol EH 0.1 pts. wt.  
(made by Kawaken Fine Chemical Co., Ltd. )
Water Remainder

[0153] According to this example, an effect similar to that from the above-described examples 3 and 4 can be achieved.

EXAMPLE 6

[0154] In this example, Bk ink is provided with two heads, one of which discharges jet 15 pl dye ink per each nozzle and the other discharges 15 pl pigment ink per each nozzle, respectively, and processing solution is also provided with two heads, of which each discharges 8 pl processing solution per each nozzle. By this configuration, discharging is carried out in order of dye Bk ink, pigment Bk ink, processing solution, and processing solution and they form a coalescent solution.

[0155] Here, acetylenol contents of each solution are 0%, 0.2%, 0.2%, and 3.6% in the above discharging order, and as a result, an acetylenol content of the coalescent solution becomes 0.7%. Thus, high fixation can be achieved. In addition to this, in this example, the later the discharging order is, the higher penetrability the solution has, therefore, it is possible to coalesce the preceding discharged solution and the following solution before penetration of the preceding solution, and this coalesce can make the penetrability of the mixed solution higher.

FURTHER EXAMPLES

[0156] In each example described above, the compositions of Bk ink to improve its fixation have been described as preferred embodiments of the present invention, however, application of the present invention is not to be restricted by the above. For example, in a case of mixing processing solutions with color inks regarding each color ink, or intermixing light and shade inks regarding a same color, the present invention is applicable thereto. For example, when color printing is performed by using Y, M, and C inks, Y-ink, of which an improvement in concentration is not so much desired, is made as a high permeable ink while other inks are made as poor permeable inks, and thus, it is thereby possible to provide the mixture with a predetermined acetylenol content when they are mixed.

[0157] Moreover, in the above examples 1 and 2, dye ink or pigment ink was made to be discharged 30 pl from one head per each nozzle, however, the same effect can be also obtained if two heads discharge 15 pl of the ink per nozzle respectively.

[0158] Moreover, in the above examples, pigment ink without dispersing agent has been described, however, it is obvious that pigment ink with dispersing agent may also be used. Further, each of the dye ink and the pigment ink may partly contain pigment and dye of less composition rate to the other, respectively.

[0159] Further, in each example of the above, the configuration may be such as a high penetrative processing solution is discharged before Bk ink is further discharged.

[0160] Further, applicability of the present invention is not to be restricted to a full line type printer as shown in each example of the above, but the invention is applicable to a serial type printer as shown in FIG. 8.

[0161]FIG. 8 is a schematic drawing showing the constitution of a serial type printer 5 relating to an example of the present invention. Namely, it is obvious that a printing apparatus, wherein dye ink and pigment ink are mixed on a printing medium before they are reacted with a processing solution, is applicable not only to the above-described full line type but also to the serial type apparatus. Here the same components as shown in FIG. 5 or FIG. 7 are marked with the same codes for omitting the detail description about them. Further, two Bk ink heads are provided in the configuration shown in the figure.

[0162] Recording paper 103 as a printing medium is inserted from a paper feeding part 105 and ejected via printing part 126. In this example, widely used inexpensive ordinary paper is used as recording paper 103. In the printing part 126, a carriage 107 is arranged to mount printing heads 101Bk 1, 102Bk 2, 101S, 101C, 101M, and 101Y and move back and forth along a guide rail 109 by means of a driving force of an unshown motor. The printing head 101Bk 1 discharges black pigment ink, and the printing head 102Bk 2 discharges black dye ink. The printing heads 101S, 101C, 101M, and 101Y discharge processing solution, cyan ink, magenta ink, yellow ink, respectively, and are driven in this order to discharge ink or processing solution on a sheet of the recording paper 103. Moreover, the black pigment ink is an ink without dispersing agent.

[0163] To each head, ink or processing solution is supplied from each tank 108Bk 1, 108Bk 2, 108S, 108C, 108M and 108Y, respectively. In discharging state, a driving signal is supplied to an electro-thermal transducer of heater disposed at each nozzle of each head, and then thermal energy acts on ink or processing solution to generate a bubble therein, thereby ink or processing solution is discharged by the pressure of the bubble. Each head has 64 pieces of discharging portions or nozzles arrayed at 360 DPI in the direction substantially same direction of conveying direction of the recording paper 103, that is, the nozzles are arrayed in the direction perpendicular to the scanning direction of each head. Here, discharging amount per one nozzle is 23 pl.

[0164] In the above arrangement, each head is arranged at ½ inch intervals, and has a printing concentration of 720 dpi in the scanning direction and a discharging frequency of 7.2 kHz.

[0165] Further, in each example of the above, discharging system of each head makes use of thermal energy to discharge ink or processing solution, however, the present invention does not restrict this applicability but, for example, a system using piezo-element may be applicable.

[0166] Furthermore, in each example of the above, it is assumed that basically, the later the discharging order is, the higher penetrability ink or processing solution has, therefore, the precedent discharging ink penetrates little into recording paper before the following ink is discharged. However, for example, when a high penetrability ink is adopted for Y-ink as described above and color printing is performed by discharging this ink precedently, Y-ink penetrates into the paper to some extent before the following ink, etc. are discharged. Therefore, in such a case, a discharging rate and discharging intervals of Y-ink discharged at the same time have only to be determined so that acetylenol content becomes a percentage showing the predetermined high penetrability described above to the total solution volume at the time when the succeeding ink is discharged and mixed.

[0167] As being apparent from the above descriptions, according to the present invention, a plurality of different droplets of ink, processing solution, etc. coalesce into one droplet and its critical micell concentration, surface tension, and Ka value, which represent the penetrability of the droplet, becomes a predetermined value of high penetrability or higher, therefore, the penetration is accelerated as a droplet after coalescence even if not all the droplets have high penetrability.

[0168] Thus, even if low penetrative ink, etc. are used to improve OD value and suppress feathering, they shows a high penetrability as a coalesced one and fixation is not inhibited.

[0169] Consequently, it is possible to achieve high fixation without using a means like a heater, etc. and improve printing quality.

[0170] The present invention has been described in detail with respect to various embodiments, and it will be apparent from the foregoing to those skilled in the art that changes and modifications may be made without departing from the invention in its broader aspects, and it is the intention, therefore, in the appended claims to cover all such changes and modifications as fall within the true spirit of the invention.

Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US6964700Apr 23, 2004Nov 15, 2005Canon Kabushiki KaishaMixture of anionic dye and pigment; 2- pyrrolidone as solvent
US7198664Jan 26, 2006Apr 3, 2007Canon Kabushiki KaishaWeatherability, optical density and sticking recovery property of nozzles of a recording head
US20100201736 *Feb 4, 2010Aug 12, 2010Ooishi YasufumiInk composition, ink set and ink-jet image forming method
Classifications
U.S. Classification347/100
International ClassificationB41J2/01, C09D11/00, B41M5/00, B41J2/21
Cooperative ClassificationB41J2/211, C09D11/40, C09D11/32
European ClassificationC09D11/40, C09D11/32, B41J2/21B1
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