US 3205998 A
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Description (OCR text may contain errors)
INKED RIBBON FOR TYPEWRITERS AND OTHER BUSINESS MACHINES Filed Nov. 19, 1962 Sept. 14, 1965 R. J. SPERRY ETAL 3 Sheets-Sheet 1 Sept. 14, 1965 R. J. SPERRY ETAL 3,205,998
INKED RIBBON FOR TYPEWRITERS AND OTHER BUSINESS MACHINES 3 Sheets-Sheet 2 Filed Nov. 19, 1962 Se t. 14, 1965 R. J. SPERRY ETAL 3,205,993
INKED RIBBON FOR TYPEWRITERS AND OTHER BUSINESS MACHINES Filed Nov. 19, 1962 5 Sheets-Sheet 3 United States Patent Mass.
Filed Nov. 19, 1962, Ser. No. 238,489 2 Claims. (Cl. l97172) This invention relates to an improved inked ribbon and to a method and apparatus for producing an inked ribbon in which a required quantity of ink is combined with a protective coating overlying one side of the ribbon against which the type face of a typewriter machine may be pressed to provide desired impressions on paper or other writing surface.
It is a chief object of the invention, therefore, to provide a novel typewriter ribbon having a protective coating or backing applied at one side thereof in order to avoid excess ink being collected on the type faces of a typewriter machine.
Another object of the invention is to provide a protectively coated typewriter ribbon which greatly facilitates handling operations and which is further provided with end portions presenting coated surfaces at both sides of the ribbon and to avoid transfer of ink from the ribbon onto the hand of an operator during the step of replacing a worn ribbon with a new ribbon.
Still another object of the invention is to provide a typewriter ribbon having end portions which are provided with novel engaging means for attaching ribbon ends to a typewriter ribbon spool with a minimum of difficulty.
A further object of the invention is to devise a method and apparatus for combining an inking material with a plastic coating in a typewriter ribbon fabric in a novel manner whereby a relatively large quantity of ink may be introduced into the typewriter ribbon to provide for relatively long operating life.
Still a further object is to devise a method of impregnating a special type of inking material in a ribbon coating which is capable of absorbing portions of ink and slowly releasing the ink during the use of the ribbon with the result that a very desirable ink recovery characteristic is realized in the ribbon performance.
Still another object of the invention is to provide a method and apparatus for appying ink to a coated ribbon material in such a way that the coated side of the ink impregnated ribbon is continually protected while being Wound on a suitable spool, reel, or other winding element.
These and other objects and novel features of the invention will be set forth in the following description and illustrated in the accompanying drawings, in which:
FIGURE 1 is a fragmentary cross sectional view of a ribbon fabric having a protective coating applied thereon;
FIGURE 2 is a side elevational view of an ink applying apparatus illustrating one desired method of producing the inked typewriter ribbon of the invention;
FIGURE 3 is a detailed fragmentary cross sectional view of inked ribbon material;
FIGURE 4 is another detailed cross sectional view of a fabric component yarn or thread impregnated with ink in accordance with the invention;
FIGURE 5 is another side elevational view indicating more in detail in diagrammatic form the method of inking shown in FlGURE 1;
FIGURE 6 is a diagrammatic view of a rewinding operation employed in preparing a finally finished ribbon;
FIGURE 7 is a perspective view of the finally wound ribbon of FIGURE 5 and further illustrating a special ribbon end construction;
FIGURE 8 is a cross section taken on the line 8-8 of FIGURE 7;
3,2Q5,9% Patented Sept. 14, 1965 FIGURES 9 and 10 are detail fragmentary views illustrating modified forms of ribbon ends; and FIGURE 11 is a modification of the method of the invention.
With the foregoing objectives in mind, we have devised a novel typewriter ribbon body which is based on the concept of introducing both a greasy type ink and a nongreasy type protective coating material into the ribbon whereby there may be realized a combination of the greasy ink material with the ribbon fabric after it has been impregnated with the protective coating material.
The use of two dissimilar materials in this way is based on the idea of providing a special type of ink which is capable of penetrating the coating material. The protective coating is introduced into the fabric in a manner such that exposed yarn surfaces at one side of the ribbon body are relatively heavily impregnated to provide a reinforced type-receiving surface while yarn portions at the other side of the ribbon are only very lightly impregnated so that these yarn portions are, in effect, covered with thin films of the protective coating material.
Ink prepared in accordance with the invention is caused to penetrate the film and become absorbed in the yarn fabrics to provide an ink reservoir. The absorbed ink thus occurring as a reservoir is then retentively held by the thin films of the protective coating on the yarns in a manner such that a slow release of ink is realized as the ribbon is used and a longer and more effective ribbon life is obtained.
it should be understood that manufacture of conventional inked ribbons has been based on the theory of inking a very absorbent fabric and causing ink to penetrate as rapidly as possible. In contrast the invention method proceeds on a different basis of using an already partially impregnated fabric which will accept ink less freely.
Considering in detail one desirable method of producing the typewriter ribbon of the invention, we start with a coated ribbon fabric of well-known type such as a fabric made from twisted cotton yarns Y1 and Y2 of long staple character. The protective coating material V is applied as shown in FIGURE 3 at one side of the ribbon fabric and as illustrative of a suitable coating material, there may be specified a vinyl compound such as, for example, a copolymer of polyvinyl chloride and polyvinyl alcohol. Vinyl compounds of the class noted are well known in the art as disclosed in Newman Patent No. 3,080,954, for example.
FIGURE 1 illustrates diagrammatically the ribbon fabric of cotton yarn indicated by the reference character R. In this ribbon the protective vinyl coating material is represented diagrammatically by dark stippled areas to indicate a relatively heavy impregnation of the coating material at the type-receiving surface 2 and immediately below this surface with the stippled areas becoming progressively lighter through to the opposite side of the ribbon fabric to denote only very limited amounts of the coating material being present on the yarns at the opposite surface d. Application of the coating material in this manner may be controlled by means of well-known press roll apparatus for forcing liquid coating material into a fabric. In FIGURES 3 and 4 lightly stippled areas W have been indicated diagrammatically on strands Y1.
The protectively coated fabric R may be conveniently supplied from a spool S as suggested at the left hand side of FIGURE 2. The spool is mounted on a frame 6 and supported in front of the spool S, in a raised position, are inking rolls 8 and 10 which are arranged in rolling contact to provide a nip area. In this nip area is located an ink mass M periodically furnished by an operator in some desirable manner. The ink mass is characterized by an ability to penetrate the films of protective coating material at the lightly imprenated side of the ribbon. As
consisting of a greasy mineral oil type carbon black mass which contains fatty acid. The ribbon fabric R is carried around guide rolls 12 and 14- and then into the ink mass M and through the nip of the rolls. Thereafter, the ribbon R, bearing ink impregnated therein, is guided as shown in FIGURE 2 towards another pair of rolls 16 and 18 mounted in the frame at the right hand side thereof. Power driving means for roll 18 and also rolls 8 and is indicated at 20.
In accordance with the invention, we further provide a roll 22 of backing material B. This backing B may, for example, consist of a roll of cellophane or some other sheet material which will resist penetration of the ink and which is mounted on a bracket 24. The material B is led away from roll 22 and guided into contact with the pro-' tectively coated side of ribbon R at the nip point of rolls 16 and 18. Thereafter, the backing is guided around the roll 18 with the inked ribbon R in a manner such that the protectively coated side 2 of the ribbon is maintained out of contact with an inked side of the ribbon at all times. This method of handling is further indicated diagrammatically in FIGURE 5 on a somewhat larger scale.
There is thus produced a spool of wound ribbon stock C which is formed of some desired size and then removed and allowed to stand for a period of time. We have observed that by holding an ink of the composition described in contact with a vinyl compound for an extended period of time, there may be caused to occur a substantial penetration of the vinyl compound into the yarns. In this way such quantities of ink become absorbed in the fabric yarns to provide a desirable reservoir. A period of forty-eight hours has been found to be suitable for penetration to occur. In a typical operation, a ribbon of three hundred yards length, having a thickness of .0004 inch, is impregnated with a quantity of ink, for example, of seventy-five grams, and allowed to stand for a fortyeight hour period.
It is pointed out that the cellophane backing acts as a pressurizing member for forcing ink through the yarns and a suitable time such as, for example, the forty-eight hours noted above is found to provide a sufficient impregnation through the films to provide an excellent ink reservoir materially exceeding the ink retentive ability of a conventional inked ribbon. At the end of this period the spool of wound ribbon and backing is separated, as suggested diagrammatically in FIGURE 6. The separated lengths of cellophane and ribbon as drawn off from roll C are wound around respective rolls 30 and 32 thereby to produce the finished spool of typewriter ribbon D.
We may also desire to provide for penetration of the ink into protectively coated ribbon in other Ways such as, for example, that shown in FIGURE 11 wherein the inked ribbon R is led directly away from the inking rolls 21 and 23 into a conditioning bin 36 in looseely disposed folds, as shown. In this arrangement also, the heavily impregnated side of the ribbon tends to reject ink while the more lightly impregnated side allows limited amounts of ink to sink in and penetrate the fabric yarns for an appreciable distance. Thus an ink reservoir similar to that described above, is introduced into the fabric and after a suitable conditioning period of, for example, forty-eight hours provides for the ink being relatively held for extended periods of use.
It is pointed out that in either of the two methods of supporting the ribbon for conditioning and allowing the ink to penetrate, there is reached a point at which the inked side of the ribbon may be wound around the protectively coated side without transfer or offsetting of ink onto the coating during subsequent use. This, it will be understood, is an important feature of the invention with reference. particularly to handling of the typewriter ribbon. For exarnple,,in removing a short length of the ribbon from a spool during installation of a replacement ribbon, there is no offsetting of ink from the protectively coated side onto the hands of the operator and a much cleaner handling is therefore realized.
We may also take advantage of this protectively coated feature by specially forming the ends of the ribbon, for example, in the manner disclosed in FIGURES 7, 8, 9 and 10. As shown in FIGURE 7, the coated side 40 of ribbon 42 may be folded over and secured to provide a section both of Whose exposed surfaces present the protective coating and thus no contact of the hands with the. inked side can occur. The folded over arrangement of the ribbon may be secured in various ways, for example, by stitching 44 as suggested in FIGURE 9, or by the use of a bonding agent or adhesive 46 as suggested in FIGURE 10, or by means of eyelets 48 or other mechanical fastening means as suggested in FIGURES 7 and 8.
It will be apparent from the above described features and structures of the invention that we have disclosed a novel typewriter ribbon having unusual characteristics such as long life, less ink transfer and easier installation. The plastic or protective coating tends to maintain the type faces of a typewriter in much cleaner condition and eliminates the need to even clean the type of excess ink and lint.
The ribbon of the invention may be used in connection with all varieties of business machines which print by direct imprint of type through an inked ribbon, such as cash registers, addressographs, multigraphs, adding machines and many other statistical machines, including the modern printing computers used in connection with punched cards.
In a typical installation of the ribbon of the invention on an office typewriter operating daily for a period of seven hours each day, it was found that an unusual increase in performance life was obtained in comparison with conventional ribbons. For example, in the installation referred to above, it was observed that a satisfactory working period of a conventional ribbon was from one to two weeks, whereas in comparison the invention ribbon at the end of a similar period continued to be in excellent condition. In this instance an increase in satisfactory performance life of the invention ribbon was found to t be extended over a period of from three to four weeks,
approximately double conventional ribbon life, thus indicating an increase in efliciency of approximately An outstanding characteristic exhibited by the invention ribbon in use was its recovery life. It should be understood that conventional ribbons have a well recognized recovery characteristic whereby when a ribbon is allowed to stand for a certain period of time it will regain its ink ing strength for a limited period and then lose it.
In the case of the invention ribbon, the recovery life has been observed to be materially improved and a sharper and more clearly defined print produced from the beginning to the end of the useful life of the ribbon.
As an example of another type of test of the invention ribbon, an automatic electric typewriter was equipped with the ribbon and this machine was set at a controlled striking pressure and was further operated to produce five hundred forty lines of identical letters. The same operation was carried out with a comparable cotton fiber ribbon having conventional ink impregnation. Here again it was found that only approximately two hundred fifty of the letters referred to above could be produced satis factorily with the conventional ribbon. Various other similar tests were also observed.
While we have illustrated preferred embodiments of the invention, it should be understood that modifications and changes may be resorted to within the scope of the appended claims.
11.. An improved typewriter ribbon comprising a length of ribbon fabric having a protective coating of a vinyl compound applied at one side of the ribbon to provide a reinforced type receiving surface, portions of the coating material at the said type receiving surface being relatively heavily impregnated therein, other portions of the coating material being relatively lightly impregnated through the ribbon fabric to the opposite side thereof to overlie constituent fabric yarns in the form of thin outer films, a typewriter ribbon ink applied to the ribbon fabric yarns over the said thin outer films of protective. coating material to provide an inking surface, said ink consisting of a greasy mineral oil and carbon black mass in which is contained a fatty acid, said fabric yarns having absorbed therein in varying degree quantities of said ink which have permeated through the said thin outer vinyl films into the fabric yarns to provide a reservoir of ink, said reservoir of ink being retentively held by said films of coating material whereby a slow release of ink from the yarns is accomplished when the ribbon fabric is pressed against a writing surface by a type face.
2. A ribbon according to claim 1 in which parts of the fabric yarns at the type receiving surface. are completely impregnated with the protective coating material to resist ink penetration at these points and provide an inkfree surface.
References ited by the Examiner UNITED STATES PATENTS Rogers 197-172 Schutz 118-117 Kirkbride 118117 Neidich 197172 X Neidich 197172 X Pelton 197-172 Pelton 197-172 X Phelps 197-172 Neidich 117- 4 Petz 197-172 X Francis 197-172 X Neidich 1174 Newman et a1. 197-172 Canada.
ROBERT E. PULFREY, Primary Examiner.