US 3339807 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
R. H. EICHORN Sept. 5, 1967 TONER CONTAINER AND DISPENSER 3 Sheets-Sheet 1 Filed Oct. 18, 1965 I INVENTOR.
ROGER H. EICHORN ATTORNEYS P 5, 1967 R. H. EICHORN 3,339,807
TONER CONTAINER AND DISPENSER Filed Oct. 18, 1965 3 $heets -Sheet Z INVENTOR. ROGER H. EICHORN [Hymn/M ATTORNEYS Sept. 5, 1967 R. H. EICHORN 3,339,807
TONER CONTAINER AND DISPENSER Filed Oct. 18, 1965 3 Sheets-Sheet 3 INVENTOR. ROGER H. EICHORN BY%q/p ATTORNEYS Unitcd States Patent 3,339,807 TONER CONTAINER AND DISPENSER Roger H. Eichorn, Webster, N.Y., assignor to Xerox Corporation, Rochester, N.Y., a corporation of New York Filed Oct. 18, 1965, Ser. No. 497,303 1 Claim. (Cl. 222-171) This invention relates to apparatus for dispensing powder or granulated material and, particularly, to xerographic toner package and apparatus for dispensing toner from the package.
More specifically, the invention relates to a toned package and to apparatus for dispensing toner from the package that is particularly adapted for use in a xerographic developing apparatus wherein, in order to develop the electrostatic latent image formed on a xerographic plate, it is required to dust the image with a developer powder, whereby the powder particles are selectively attracted to the charged areas of the plate to form a visible powder particle image of the electrostatic latent image.
In the process of Xerography, for example, as disclosed in Carlson Patent 2,297,691, issued Oct. 6, 1942, a xerographic plate, comprising a layer of photoconductive insulating material on a conductive backing, is given a uniform electric charge over its surface and is then exposed to the subject matter to be reproduced, usually by convention-a1 projection techniques. This exposure discharges the plate areas in accordance with the light intensity which reaches them and thereby creates an electrostatic latent image on or in the plate coating.
Development of the image is effected with developers which comprise, in general, a mixture of a suitable pigmented or dyed electrostatic powder, hereinafter referred to as toner, and a granular carrier material, which latter functions to carry and to generate triboelectric charges on the toner. More exactly, the function of the granular material is to provide the mechanical control to the powder, or to carry the powder to an image surface and, simultaneously, to provide almost complete homogeneity of charge polarity. In the development of the image, the toner powder is brought into surface contact with the coating and is held thereon electrostatically in a pattern corresponding to the electrostatic latent image. Thereafter, the developed xerographic image is usually transferred to a support material to which it may be fixed by any suitable means.
In the mixture of toner particles and carrier material, the toner particles, which are many times smaller than the carrier particles, adhere to and coat the surface of the carrier particles due to the electrostatic attraction between them. During development, as the powder coated carrier particles roll or tumble over the xerographic plate carrying an electrostatic image of opposite polarity to the charge on the toner, toner particles are pulled away from the carrier by the charged image and deposited on the plate to form a powder image, While the partially denuded carrier particles pass off the plate. As toner powder images are formed, additional toner particles must be supplied to the developed mixture in proportion to the amount of toner deposited.
If prints, made by the xerographic process, have heavy deposits of toner in image areas of good contrast and non-image areas have a gray veiling, the toner concentration in the developer mixture is too great. If the prints have low contrast images, the quantity of toner particles in the developer mixture is insufiicient.
In order to continually obtain prints of good quality, the quantity of toner powder in the developer mixture must be held reasonably constant by the addition of toner to the developer mixture in proportion to the amount of toner deposited on the plate.
It is therefore an object of this invention to improve apparatus for dispensing powder or granulated material.
Another object of this invention is to improve toner packages that can be directly inserted into a dispensing apparatus.
Another object of this invention is to improve toner dispensers to prevent agglomerating.
Still another object of this invention is to provide a toner dispenser which is capable of dispensing substantially continuously.
A further object of this invention is to make toner dispensers easy to load, clean in handling and simple to operate.
The present invention contemplates an improvement in dispensing devices wherein an automatic metering arrangement is provided to COntIOl the rate of discharge from the dispenser.
For a better understanding of the invention as well as other objects and further features thereof, reference is had to the following detailed description of the invention to be had in connection with the accompanying drawings wherein:
FIG. 1 illustrates schematically a preferred embodiment of a xerographic apparatus adapted for continuous and automatic operation, and incorporating a toner dispenser in accordance With the invention;
FIG. 2 is a section view taken along lines 2-2 of FIG. 1;
FIG. 3 is a perspective view of the toner dispenser constructed in accordance with the present invention;
FIG. 4 is a partial perspective view of the grids;
FIG. 5 is a perspective view of the toner package;
FIG. 6 is a perspective view of the stationary grid; and
FIG. 7 is a perspective view of the adjustable grid.
GENERAL As shown in FIGURE 1, the xerographic apparatus comprises a xerographic plate including a photoconductive layer or light receiving surface on a conductive backing and formed in the shape of a drum which is journaled in a frame to rotate in the direction indicated by the arrow to cause the drum surface sequentially to pass a plurality of xerographic processing stations.
For the purpose of the present disclosure, the several erographic processing stations in the path of movement of the drum surface may be described functionally as follows:
A charging station at which a uniform electrostatic charge is deposited on the photoconductive layer of the xerographic drum is shown. at A. An exposure station at which a light to be reproduced is projected onto the drum surface to dissipate the drum charge on the exposed areas thereof, and thereby .form a latent electrostatic image on the copy to be reproduced is shown at B. A developing station, where a xerographic drum is developed is shown at 'C. A transfer station at which the xerogr-aphic powder image is electrostatically transferred from the drum surface to the material is shown at D. A drum cleaning station is shown at E.
The charging apparatus or corona charging device 21 includes a corona discharge array of one or more discharge electrodes that extend transversely across the drum surface and are energized from a high potential source and are substantially enclosed within a shielding member.
The optical scanning or projection assembly consists of a copybo'ard in the shape of a drum, herein-after referred to as copy drum 22, which is adapted to support copy to be reproduced and arranged to rotate in lightprojection relation to the moving light-receiving surface of the xerographic plate.
Copy fed through paper guides 32 to the copy drum is removably secured thereon by a suitable gripper mechanism for movement therewith in timed relation to the movement of the xerographic drum whereby a flowing image of the copy is projected onto the xerographic drum. After the copy is scanned it can be released from the copy drum to be transported out of the machine through copy guide 33.
Adjacent to the exposure station is a developing station C in which there is positioned a developer apparatus 35 including a developer housing having a lower or sump portion for accumulating developer material 36. Mounted within the developer housing is a motor driven buckettype conveyor used to carry the developer material previously supplied to the developer housing to the upper portion of the developer housing from where the developer material is cascaded over a hopper chute onto the drum.
As the developer material cascades over the drum, toner particles of the developer material adhere electrostatically to the previously formed electrostatic latent image areas on the drum to form a visible xerographic powder image; the remaining developer material falling off the peripheral surface of the drum into the bottom of the developer housing. Toner particles consumed during the developing operation to form the xerographic powder images are replenished by a toner dispenser mounted within the developer housing.
Positioned next adjacent to the developing station is the image transfer station D which includes suitable sheet feeding mechanism adapted to feed sheets of paper successively to the xerographic drum in coordination with the presentation of the developed image on the drum at the transfer station.
The next and final station in the device is a drum cleaning station E whereat any powder remaining on the xerographic drum after the transfer step is removed and Whereat the xerographic drum is flooded with light to cause dissipation of any residual electrical charge remaining on the xerographic drum.
Removal of residual powder from the xerographic drum is effected by means of a web cleaner device 54 adapted to continuously feed a clean fibrous web material into wiping contact with the Xerographic drum.
Suitable drive means drive the xerographic drum, the copy drum and the sheet conveyor mechanism at predetermined speeds relative to each other. Suitable drive means are also provided for effecting operation of the developer conveyor mechanism and the toner dispenser of the developing apparatus assembly.
It is believed that the foregoing description is sufficient for the purposes of this application to show the general operation of the Xerographic reproducing apparatus. For further details concerning the specific construction of the xerographic apparatus shown reference is made to Patent No. 3,067,720 issued Dec. 11, 1962 to William G. Lewis et a1.
Toner dispenser The toner package 105 as shown in FIG. 5 consists of a cylindrical body having a plug 107, used for loading the package, in the end thereof. The toner package has several openings 108 sealed by a tear strip or cover 110 with a tab 111 which is easily removable by hand before insertion into the developer housing and the dispenser apparatus to be described below. It is by means of the openings 108 that the toner is dispensed from the toner I package.
After the tear strip 110 is removed from the toner package it is positioned in the developer housing as shown in FIG. 2. The door 112 hinged on wall 113 of the developer housing is opened and the toner package with the openings 108 exposed upwardly; the toner package 105 is slid along stationary grid 116 until the end of the toner package 118, which has a protruding portion 120 in the end thereof contacts the driving element 124. The protruding portion 120 of the toner package 105 meshes with the driving element 124 while the door 112 also 4 serves to guide the package 105. The driving element 124 is journaled in a bearing located in the wall 126 of the developer housing 37 and is driven by a belt 130 which may be driven from the developer conveyor apparatus or other suitable drive means.
The stationary grid 116 is mounted in the developer housing by means of brackets 131 and 133. After the toner dispenser is slid into the developer housing along stationary grid 116 and the protruding portion of the toner package meshes with driving element 124 the door 112 is closed thereby allowing the protruding portion of the door 132 to fit into the hollow end 134 of the toner package 105. Thus, when the belt drives the driving element 124 which meshes with the protruding portion 120 of the toner housing, the hollow end 134 of the toner housing will bear against the protruding portion 132 of the developer door thereby providing a bearing surface thereto.
The toner package 105 may be rotated continuously or intermittently if desired. As the toner package rotates the openings 108 will come in contact with the o enings 117 in stationary grid 116 in which it rests. Stationary grid 116 has an adjustable grid portion attached by means of spring clips 118 as shown in FIG. 3. The adjustable grid portion may be moved relative to the stationary grid 116 by means of arm 122 mounted on the adjustable grid portion 140. The arm 122 is accessible through door 112. The adjustable grid portion 140 has openings therein. The openings 117 and 14-1 are shown as slots in their respective grids. Although these openings are shown as slots, it is understood that they could be of different shapes than shown. These openings are at an angle to each other thereby allowing for a fine adjustment of the adjustable grid 140 with respect to the stationary grid 116 by means of the tab 142 in order to vary the opening in the pair of grids.
As the toner package 105 rotates, the openings 108 therein will come in contact with the openings in the grid 117 and 141 thereby dispensing toner from the toner package to the developer housing.
It can thus readily be seen that by adjusting the adjustable stationary grid 140 the amount of toner dispensed when the toner package 105 rotates can be regulated.
It will be understood that various changes in the details, materials, steps and arrangements of parts, which have been herein described and illustrated in order to explain the nature of the invention, may be made by those skilled in the art within the principle and scope of the invention as expressed in the appended claims. However, while the invention has been described with reference to the structure disclosed herein, it is not to be confined to the details set forth, and this application is intended to cover such modifications or changes as may come within the scope of the following claim.
A toner dispenser including:
a toner package suitable for holding a quantity of toner material having means defining openings therein, two end portions mounted at each end of the body enclosing the body, one of said end portions having a protruding member adapted to engage a drive element a stationary grid shaped to allow the package to be positioned thereon and having openings therein a second grid having openings therein :adjustably attached to the stationary grid to allow relative movement of the adjustable grid and the stationary grid to vary the openings therebetween and drive means engaging the protruding portion of the toner package to move the toner package relative to the openings in the grids whereby the openings of the toner package and the openings in the grids are connected thereby dispensing toner from the package.
(Re e ences 011 follow ng p g UNITED References Cited STATES PATENTS Lambert 229-93 Cumfer et a1. 118308 X Roehrl. 5 La Mers et a1 222-561 X Guckel 222486 X Janssen 222-171 Huber et a1 118-637 X Codichini et a1. 118--637 X 10 Cerasani et a1 118637 X Schulman et a1 222-1 69 Eichorn et a1. 118--637 Watral 222169 OTHER REFERENCES IBM Bulletin, March 1962, vol. 4, No. 10.
ROBERT B. REEVES, Primary Examiner.
N. L. STACK, Assistant Examiner.