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Publication numberUS3528355 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateSep 15, 1970
Filing dateSep 1, 1967
Priority dateSep 1, 1967
Also published asDE1797177A1, DE1797177B2
Publication numberUS 3528355 A, US 3528355A, US-A-3528355, US3528355 A, US3528355A
InventorsJohn Edward Blackert
Original AssigneeXerox Corp
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Camera-processor
US 3528355 A
Abstract  available in
Images(8)
Previous page
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

United States Patent [72] Inventor John Edward Blackert Webster, New York [21] Appl. No. 665,048 [22] Filed Sept. 1, 1967 [45] Patented Sept. 15, 1970 [73] Assignee Xerox Corporation Rochester, New York a corporation of New York 54 CAMERA-PROCESSOR 25 Claims, 13 Drawing Figs.

[52] US. Cl 95/14, 95/90.5, 355/10, 355/27, 355/64 [5 1] 1nt.C|. 03 17 50 [50] Field olSearch 95/14, 90.5; 355/10, 27, 64, 3, 9

[56] References Cited UNlTED STATES PATENTS 1,424,816 8/1922 Grillone 95/13 1,816,290 7/1931 Klimis 95/14 2,192,755 3/1940 Rabkin et al 95/14 Primary ExaminerNorton A'n'sher Assistant Examiner-Richard L. Moses Attorneys-Stanley Z. Cole and Norman E. Schrader ABSTRACT: An apparatus for exposing and processing photosensitive films wherein the film is forwarded and indexed to an exposure station and then forwarded to a separate apertured processing chamber along the path of travel of the film. The film is situated so as to allow processing of one frame of previously exposed film, which is sealed against the aperture in the processing chamber, while at the same time exposing a subsequent frame of film. Also provided is a system to transport fluid to the processing chamber for contact with the sensitive side of the film to efiect development. The apparatus is particularly useful for exposing and processing electrostatically charged photoelectrically sensitive film to achieve migration imaging.

Patented Sept. 15, 1910 3,528,355

Sheet pf 8 FIG.

' INVENTOR. .JOHN E. BLACKERT Patented Sept. 15, 1970 3,528,355

Sheet Q of8 INVENTOR.

JOHN E. BLACKERT I Patented Sept. 15, 1970 3,523,355

Sheet '4- of8 I :SW-I R 'SW-IA f} CR-llb C A CR-Z Ls TIME DELA+ RELAY i l iCR 2A SOL-l ",5 lLCRZB CFPGH -L FLUID SOLONOID VALVE SEQUENCE sW-IB cmcurr sw-a' HIGH VOLTAGE POWER SUPPLY CR 6A CR- 68 INVENTOR. JOHN E.-BLACKERT .ATTORIV Y Patented Sept. 15, 1910 Sheet 5 of 8 INPUT sILvER HALIDE FILM START cYcL I r 1 I DEVELOPEMENT SOLUTION I F x s INPUT EXPOSE OLUT'ON I I ORIGINAL I R|NSE I I I I I DRY INDEx FRAME PROCESS OUTPUT COLLATED FILM IN RoLL FORM a 5 PRocEssED FIXED & DRIED INPUT P HOTOEL EqTRosoLocRAPI-uc FILM IN CHAMBER I PRocEss START CYCLE I ""1 COROTRON l LIQUID CHARGE I DEVELOPER I I, DRAIN INPUT I I I ORIGINALS EXPOSE I I DRY I I INDEx HI ONE FRAME INVENTOR. OUTPUT JOHN E. BLACKERT 635955352236 '2 38%| FIG] A7 TOREI l N PUT PHOTOELECTROSOLOGRAPHIC FILM START CYCLE l""" """v'"' i 83x22" VAPOR DEVELOP I I I HEAT INPUT EXPOSE ORIGINALS J 'NDEX IN CHAMBER 3135 PROCESS OUTPUT COLLATED FILM IN ROLL ag FORMPROCESSEDl. nxso INPUT PHOTOELECTROSOLOGRAPHIC I 5 FILM I F START CYCLE -""'A' L COR OTRO'N VAPOR DEVELOP I CHARGE I I L J INPUT IN CHAMBER ORG'NALS v EXPOSE INDEX ONE FRAME IEEIE-4-OPTIONAL I INVENTOR. OUTPUT JOHN E. BLACKERT COLLATED FILM IN ROLL 9 FORM PROCESSED & FIXED v I it 4. 4

A 7' TORNEY Patel lted Sept. 15, 1970 Sheei; 7 of 8 Ill ll l lllli l"g Emilio nmuuomm INVENTOR. JOHN E. BLACKERT CAMERA-PROCESSOR This invention relates to automatic camera-processors and in particular to automatic camera-processors capable of exposing and developing photoelectric sensitive films as well as silver halide films in a rapid processing system.

Rapid processing may be defined as a technique that produces a usuable picture in much less time, usually in the order of a few seconds, than is possible by conventional processing means. The rapidity of processing micro-images has become of significant importance in recent years due to the large advance of industry, government, and others to move to a microfilmsystem for the storage of information. As is well known, because of the steadily increasing size of various industries and the necessity of them to retain a variety of business records, ithas become necessary to minify records in order to provide space to store them. For example, approximately 2,000 sq. ft. of storage space needed for 6,000 conventional engineering drawings and the like can be reduced to 50 sq. ft. of storage space for microfilm mounted aperture cards which have the added convenience of rapid retrieval. It has been natural, therefore, for many companies to convert their records to microfilm systems and thereby drastically reduce the space required to retain and store information that perhaps may be necessary at some later date.

The storage of information on microfilm evolved as one special application of conventional photographic technology. As a result, process orientation was based on-the processing of photographic film, not on the processing of information. Adhering to the relatively complex dark room technique used for conventional film, usual rapid processing equipment is engineered for the economics of high volume bulk processing of motion picture film. In rapid processing display systems such as'those shown in the Tuttle US. Pat. No. 2,922,352 issued January 26, l960 or the Orlando US. Pat. No. 2,856,829 issued October 2l, 1958 apparatus is shown for rapid camera processing systems using a chamber method of development. In these andother similar camera-processors, multiple low viscosity processing fluids are drawn from'suitable containers across the emulsion side of silver halide film either by positive pressure or a suction pump.

With the advent of new imaging systems being developed and capable of a microfilm format of high density, continuous tone'and high resolution, it has become necessary to provide camera-processor apparatus that will accommodate these systems. It is desirable, therefore, to have a universal cameraprocessor capable of handling these new films which are hereafter described, as well as the usual silver halide film.

An example of a new imaging system of the type considered to require 'a new camera-processor apparatus is that which is described in copending application Ser. No. 483,675, filed August 30, I965 in the name of W. L. Goffe. In a typical embodiment of this imaging system, a migration imaging member comprising a conductive substrate'with a layer of softenable or soluble material containing photosensitive particles overlying the conductive substrate is imaged in the following manner: a latent image is formed on'the photoconductive surface, for example by uniform electrostatic charging and exposure to a pattern of activating radiation. The softenable or soluble layer is then developed by exposing the plate to a solvent which dissolves or softens only the solublelayer. The photoconductive particles which have been exposed to radiation migrate through 'the softenable layer as'it is'softened and dissolved leaving an image on the conductive substrate'conforming to a negative of the original. Onetherefore gets a positive to negative image. Through the use of various techniques, either positive to positive or positive to negative images may be made depending on the materials used and other factors. Those portions of the photoconductivelayer which do not migrate to the conductive substrate are typically washed away by the solvent with the soluble layer or form a background in or on the softenable layer where the softenable layer issoftened-instead of dissolved during development.

There are three basic migration imaging members which may be used: a layered configuration comprising a substrate coated with a layer of softenable material containing a layer of photoconductive material, usually incoherently embedded at the upper surface of the softenable layer; a binder structure in which the photoconductive particles are dispersed throughout the softenable layer which overcoats-a substrate; and an overcoated structure in which a substrate is overcoated with .a layer of softenable material followed by an overcoating of photoconductive particles and a second overcoating of softenable material which sandwiches the photoconductive particles. I

The migration imaging process generally comprises a combination of process steps including the formation of a latent image and the developing thereof with a solvent, a vapor, or heat, or combinations thereof. An alternative new imaging system described in copending application Ser. No. 612,122

filed on January 27, I967 filed in the names of M. Levy and W.L. Goffe discloses structure for migration imaging using a process which includes forming a latent image on a photoconductive surface such as by uniformly electrostatically charging under dark room conditions, and exposing to a pattern of activating radiation. The softenable layer of the material, which is of the type described above is then developed for a few seconds in a solvent vapor while still being kept under dark room conditions thereby causing a selective migration of photoconductive particles in the areas exposed to radiation. These particles move down to or near the conductive substrate. The vapor developed structure is then subjected to heat causing the photoconductive particles in the areas unexposed to radiation to agglomerate or flocculate often accompanied by fusion of the photoconductive particles thereby resulting in a very low background density. Another sequence of processing steps resulting in the same imaging is that the migration image, that was previously uniformly charged and exposed may be formed by heat followed by exposure to solvent vapors and then heated for a second time. With the vapor technique of forming a migration image it should be noted that there is no wash-away of any portion of the material found in or on the film base. For a complete description of the materials and methods used in these film systems, see the copending applications referred to above.

It is an object of this invention to provide a universal camera-processor to expose and process a multiplicity of imaging systems.

A further object of this invention is to improve automatic camera-processors for making continuous film reproductions of original objects.

Another object of this invention is to improve migration imaging camera-processors as well as camera-processors for exposing and developing silver halide films.

Still another object is to improve an automatic cameraprocessor for migration imaging films.

These and other objects of this invention are accomplished by means for presenting a radiation pattern to a sensitized film, me'ansforpresenting the exposed film to solvents suitable'for developing the exposed film and means for indexing the film to present a new area thereon for further imaging.

Fora better understanding of the invention, as well as other objects and further features thereof, reference is made to the following detailed disclosure of the invention taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings wherein:

FIG. 1 is a schematic diagram of a vertical camera-processor unit; 1 FIG. 2 'isa side elevation partly in section of a cameraprocessor partly-in section with covers removed to show essential components; FIG. 3 is an end view with parts broken away to show essential components;

FIG. 4 is a schematic electrical wiring diagram of the exposure and processing operations of the camera-processor; FIG. 5 is a schematic electrical wiring diagram of the corotron charging circuit;

FIG. 6 is a block diagram showing the simultaneous operation of the exposure and developing of silver halide film; FIGS. 7 through 9 are block diagrams showing the simultaneous exposure and processing of migration imaging film;

FIG. 10 is a schematic diagram for the processing of the migration imaging film of FIG. 7;

FIG. 11 is the valve timing diagram for the processing system of FIG. 10;

FIG. 12 is a schematic diagram for the processing of the photographic film of FIG. 6; and

FIG. 13 is a schematic diagram for the processing of the migration imaging film of FIG. 8.

Referring now to the drawings, there is shown in FIG. I a schematic representation of a camera-processor in accordance with the invention hereof. The apparatus shown in this representative embodiment may be used for exposing and processing silver halide film, both transparent and opaque type, as well as the new migration imaging films described hereinabove. The schematic shows a vertical camera orientation wherein the film to be processed is maintained in a horizontal position during both exposure at the exposure station 22 and processing at the processing station 24. The film 20 is held on a film supply spool 26 and is threaded through a pair of rollers including an idler roller 28 and a pressure roller 30 which contact the film on either side thereof at a common tangent between the two rollers. At a position on the opposite side of the exposure and processing stations along the film path is a film drive roller 32 which co-acts with a pressure roller 34 at a common tangent through the surface of the film. The film is driven by the roller 32 to the film take-up spool 36 which is biased to maintain a slight tension on the film such that it gathers the film being fed thereto from the drive roller 32.

The film once threaded is driven past the exposure station 22 and the processing station 24 as well as a heating unit 38 which is interposed at the path of the film between the drive roller and take-up spool 36 although it may be operably positioned at any place along the film path after the processing station. The heater may be of any form, for example, a radiant heater as shown, or an oven or heated roll or the like.

At the exposure station 22 is a lens and shutter and bellows assembly generally designated 40. A corotron 42 for uniformly electrostatically charging the migration imaging films that may be used in this system is also located at exposure station 22. At the processing station 24 is a chamber 44 having an inlet 46 and outlet 48 with a heating element 50 juxtaposed to the film but within the chamber. The heating element is spaced from the film such that there is a hollow portion of the chamber through which the processing fluids flow to contact the film surface clamped against the chamber during the processing step. An aerosol can 45 is shown connected to ingress port 46. The can contains a development vapor for migration imaging films. The vapor is released into the chamber 44 to contact the sensitive film surface by pressing the valve 47 on the can. The vapor may exit to the atmosphere or a container (not shown).

The back pressure plate 52 of the camera-processor is held by bracket 54 for movement to contact the rear surface of the film 20 causing a pressure fit between the front or sensitive surface of film 20 and the exposure and processing stations of the camera-processor unit. The film contacting portion of the back plate 52 contains a film exposure vacuum back 56 which maintains the film in a fiat plane at the focal length of the lens within assembly 40. The vacuum back operates through a vacuum tube 58 connected toa vacuum pump (not shown). The film contacting portion of back plate 52 located at the processing station 24 of the camera-processor contains a rubber pressure pad 60 which maintains the film in a tight relationship against the aperture of the chamber 44 so that the fluids flowing therein are not likely to escape between the aperture of the chamber 44 and the contacting surface of the film 20.

The bracket 54 which positions't'he back plate 52 of the camera-processor tightly against the film 20 and exposure and processing stations is attachedto the back plate 52 by any means or formed as an integral part thereof. The bracket is pinned or otherwise attached to a solenoid 64 and connecting shaft 66 for moving the back plate 52 into and out of pressure contact with the film for exposing and processing or for indexing. The back plate 52 is removed from contact with the film 20 which then may be driven by drive roller 32 toward take-up spool 36 and indexed in such a way that a new portion of film 20 is presented at exposure station 22 for exposure to an object or document while that portion of film 20 which'was previously exposed at exposure station 22 is positioned to processing station 24. The portion of the film previouslv exposed becomes a frame and may be processed simultaneously with the exposure of the next frame of the film while the back plate 52 again contacts and maintains the film 20 against the exposure station 22 and processing station 24.

Referring now to FIG. 2, there is shown a side view of a camera-processor apparatus encompassing the invention herein. Enclosed within a housing 68 is apparatus somewhat similar to that shown schematically in FIG. 1. There is a film supply spool 26 engaged by a cam 70 to load a spring acting much the same as a friction clutch for variable drag on the supply spool 26. The film 20 fed from supply spool 26 passes over guide rollers including a drop center idling roller 72 and a pressure roller 74 both suitably journaled for rotation within a mounting plate 76 which is spring biased by spring 78. A set screw 80 bracketed onto the housing 68 by a bracket 82 held through a screw 84 regulates the pressure the roller 74 exerts on the film. The set screw is positioned by nut 86 such that the mounting plate 76 and the rollers mounted thereon maintain the film 20 out of contact with the exposure station 22 and the processing station 24 when the back pressure plate 88 is out of engagement with the rear side of the film 20. The positioning of the mounting bracket 76 by the set screw is such that it further insures contact between the film 20 and the grounding strips 90 which is necessary in processing electrostatic sensitive films. The grounding strips 90 are mounted by a screw 92 to the housing frame by a conductive strip 94.

At the exposure station of the apparatus shown in FIG. 2, there is a lens and shutter assembly designated as number 40 and an adjustable bellows 96 for forming a focused image at the film plane established by the vacuum pressure platen 56 of back pressure plate 88. The pressure plate 56 consists of a hard material such as a hard rubber plate 98 to maintain flat ness of the film 20 in the proper plane at the exposure station. The plate 98 is channeled to hold the film flat over its entire surface when a vacuum is drawn through tubing 58. The back plate 88 not only locates the film in the correct plane for exposure, but also seals the film against the processing chamber during operation of the processing and exposure cycle.

The focusing is accomplished by moving the bellows and lens and shutter away from or closer to the exposure station of the camera by hand turning knob 102 thereby moving frame 104 along rails 106. Shutter tripping may be manually set or automatically operated by a solenoid. The focus of the object at the film plane may be visibly examined by substituting a ground glass plate for the channeled hard vacuum back member 98 and the film exposure vacuum'back 56. This may easily be accomplished by sliding the vacuum back with the channeled platen 56 attached, to one side or the other of the exposure station and inserting therein a piece of ground glass at the image plane of the exposure station.

Located at the exposure station immediately behind the bellows is a corona charging member such as corotron 107 held in position by screws 108 and maintained in a shield 110 which holds the corotron wire and the corotron electrical lead 112. The corotron wire is positioned approximately 0.6 inches from the film. The film is held against the aperture 114 of the exposure station 22 by the channeled vacuum back member 98 held within the back plate 88 of the camera-processor. When in the position shown in FIG. 2, the back plate 88 maintains the film against the aperture 114 of the exposure station 22 by the channeled member 98 while holding another portion of the film tight against the processor chamber 116 by 7 rubber pressure pad 118.

The operation of the back plate 88 is controlled by the back plate drive gear box 120 which is mounted by screws 122 to the housing 68 and pinned at pin 124 to a threaded shaft 126 maintaining a limit nut 128 thereon which is alternately brought into contact with limit switches 130 and 132. The limit nut is intimately connected with latching pin 134 which is kept in operative contact with back plate 88 by a back release pin 136 mounted in a slot 138 of back plate 88 and removable from said slot to release the back plate 88 from the latching pin 134 and the back plate drive mechanism for easy maintenance of theexposure and processing areas of the apparatus. The back plate 88 is pivotably mounted at pivot shaft 140 both for normal cycle indexing and for maintenance. The housing 68 has a back door, the frame 141 for which is shown in FIG. 3. This makes removal of parts easier. There are also side doors for film threading or general repair work. The frames 143 are shown for them.

The processingchamber 116 has an ingress port 142 and an egress port 144 and an intermediate fluid flow portion 146 at which position the fluid passing through chamber 116 contacts the film 20 located at the aperture of the chamber 116. The fluid is directed to the chamber 116 by any connecting means such as tubing 148.

The film is driven by drive roller 32 and held tightly thereagainst by pressure roller 34. The film is then threaded or positioned over a heated roller 150 and then to take-up spool 36 which is driven to keep tension on the film maintained thereon by a drive belt 152 which is connected to drive roller 32.

FIG. 3 is an end view of the apparatus shown in FIG. 2 and represents an embodiment of a horizontal camera-processor capable of exposing and processing several types of photosensitive films. In the housing 68 and through the partially broken away rear wall can be seen the supply reel 26 with the film 20 coming therefrom to be passed over the grounding strips 90 and to the exposure station 22 and processing station 24 before passing through drive roller 32 and pressure roller 34 for deposition upon take-up spool 36. At the exposure station 22 is shown the corotron 107 within its shield 110 at one of its two normal stop'positions to the sides of the exposure aperture 114. The corotron and its shield are driven by a small synchronous drive motor M-l mounted on a mounting plate 154 and supported by a frame 156. The drive operates through a timing belt, reduction gear and left-right hand cylindrical cam (none shown).

In operation, the corotron drive motor brings the corona emitting corotron and its shield across aperture 114 at about 0.8 inches per second to charge a migration imaging film for subsequent exposure and processing. For positive polarities a voltage range from about 100 to 300 volts on the film has been 7 found to yield particularly good results on a film having a photoconductive surface of selenium in the thermoplastic resin on a metalized Mylar base. When using voltages of negative polarity on the same type film, optimum results are obtained when the voltage is from about to 150 volts. Corotron voltages may reach 7,000 volts and higher. When the corotron reaches the other side of the aperture 114 from where it is shown at rest it once again comes to rest and remains so until the next frame of film is required for charging and exposing.

At the processing station 24 there is shown the face view of the chamber 116 with its flow plate 146. The chamber is fastened to the body of the camera-processor housing 68 by such means as screws 158. The chamber obtains its fluids via intake tubing 159 and the fluids, after processing, are removed from the chamber and brought to a waste station or are recirculated via outlet tubing 160. Both the intake tubing 159 and outlet tubing 160 are passed through the wall of the housing 68 through suitable apertures placed therein.

The pivot pin 140 is shown in its relative position to the exposure and processing stations of the camera-processor. At the lower portion of the back plate 88 below the pivot pin 140 are two slotted bosses 162 and 163 both of which are notched to retain the latching pin 134 -which is connected through suitable linkage to the gear box for driving the back plate into and out of pressure contact with the rear surface of the film. The back plate drive linkage 164 engages the latching pin 134 to cause the actual movement of the back plate. The pin 136 and a connecting shaft 166 perpendicular to the pin are movable upward to disengage the retaining pin 134 which may then be slipped through the drive linkage 164 which will allow the back plate 88 to pivot around its pivot pin for easier maintenance of the exposure and processing stations.

The back plate drive gear box 120 (shown in FIG. 2) is driven by a reversible main motor M-2 through a gear head 168, a coupling 170 and a shaft 172 held by bearing blocks 174 and 176. The drive of the motor M-2 is connected with the gear box 120 by a timing belt 178 mounted on a pulley 180 and a shaft 182 which is held in position by a bearing 184 mounted on a frame member 186. The operation of the back plate through the gear box 120 is directed through a clutch mechanism 188 which acting with the reversible motor M-2 provides the necessary forward and back movement to release the back plate from the rear surface of the film and move it back thereto after the film has been indexed. A flexible coupling 190 has been added to shaft 192 in order to avoid the problems of alignment. By adjusting the amperage to the electric clutch 188, the pressure exerted on the film against the processing station can be adjusted.

The drive pulley 32 which actually drives the film '20 through the exposure station and processing station and eventually to the take-up spool 36 is driven by the same motor M-2 that drives the back plate. The operation of the drive roller however is through the bearing blocks 176 and 172 and. an electric slip clutch 194 and an electric brake 196 the latter being necessary to insure precise single frame indexing of the exposed film. The drive shaft serves to turn a drive pulley 198 which in turn drives a timing belt 202 and a second pulley 204. Pulley 204 is co-axially shafted to pulley 32 by a shaft 206 and separated from pulley' 32 by a spacer 208 and a pulley 210 around which the drive belt 152 operates to turn the take-up pulley 36. The shaft 206 is the drive shaft for drive pulley 32 which actually moves the film through the camera-processor. Pressure roller 34 is spaced to engage the rear portion of the film at drive pulley 32 by a spacer 212 and is equipped with a knot 214 to permit an operator to remove the roller 34 for easier threading of the film 20 around the drive pulley 32. The heated roller 150 is joumaled through a bearing in the housing 68 to make it freely rotatable moving frictionally with the film as the latter passes over it. The heated roller 150 may be intermittently heated and cooled or constantly held up to operating temperature. It can be maintained against the film in a between frame position or can be rotated out of position after the index step. An oven or radiant heater can be substituted for the roller 150 with the same results being achieved on the film as is necessary for the processing cycles hereinafter described.

The melting temperature of a typical film base such as Mylar is 340F. The heat required to agglomerate migration imaging film background is approximately l90F., therefore, the roller can remain in contact with the film even when the film is stationary without causing damage. This is also the case with an oven or radiant or combination heater.

FLUID HANDLING With the camera-processor unit shown in the previous FIGS. is a fluid handling system connecting to the developing fluids necessary for the processing of the different types of films capable of being exposed and processed by the apparatus explained above. FIGS. 69 show the cycles of the cameraprocessor for exposing and processing the different types of film indicated in the uppermost block of each of the FIGS.

The cyclic operation of the camera-processor is shown in these figures by reading down the blocks. The activities listed on parallel lines indicates simultaneous action and for individual activities placed along the same line as other individually listed activities indicates sequential operation. Once a cycle is initiated, both the exposure and processing are conducted simultaneously, i.e. as one frame is being exposed or charged and exposed, the previously exposed frame is being processed simultaneously with the exposure or charging and exposure of the next frame of the roll of film. Following the completion of an exposure-process cycle, the film indexes one frame thereby placing an unexposed film portion in the exposure station 22 and a previously exposed portion in the process station 24. The cycle will require as much time as the sum of the times required at the exposure station or the processing station whichever is longer. In order of events, the film is loaded with the pressure platen 88 being in its nonoperating rearward position in relation to the exposure station and the chamber. This permits the easy threading of the film through the camera-processor. The pressure roll 74 and the lower pressure roll 34 are moved away from the guide rollers 72 and 32, respectively, so that the film passes therebetween to be threaded over and fed on the take-up spool 36. Once the film has been threaded, and every time it is advanced, the pressure platen 88 closes the seats against the block housing the exposure station and the processor chamber. This places the film in the correct plane for exposure and firmly seats the previously exposed film portion against the process chamber. The amount of pressure which the back plate 88 places against the chamber can be varied by controlling the current level of the drive clutch 188. Once the back plate is seated, solutions flow through the process chamber, the corotron makes one pass across the width of the unexposed film and the film is exposed by actuating the shutter. When the expose and process cycles are completed, the back pressure plate 88 pivots away from the process chamber and exposure station, the vacuum is removed from the channeled hard exposure back 98 and the film is indexed one frame by operation of motor M-2 acting through clutch 194 and electric break 196. The back plate 88 then closes and the cycle at the exposure station and the process station may be repeated.

FIG. 4 shows an electrical schematic diagram of the simultaneous operation of the exposure and processing stations of the camera-processor. Start switch SW-l has two contacts. The first contact denoted SW-1A sends power to relay CR-l which closes the contact CR-l. This energizes the motor M-l which moves the corotron 107 across the aperture 114 to charge the film portion at the exposure station 22. As the corotron moves past the aperture, it opens normally closed limit switch LS-1. This de-activates the motor M-l. A second limit switch LS-2 is normally open but is closed by the corotron reaching the end of its sweep of the film. Closing of switch LS-2 activates time delay relay CR-Z momentarily closing contact CR-2A thereby activating solenoid SOL-1 used for tripping the shutter at the exposure station. The time delay relay CR-2 also closes contact CR-2B which activates relay CR-3 in turn closing contact CR-3 which thereafter maintains relay CR-3 in an energized state while indicating the end of the exposure cycle.

Simultaneously the start button closes contact SW-lB activating the solenoids on the fluid valves in the proper sequence to process the film at the process station. When the processing fluids have finished their operation, a relay closes contact CR-4 which maintains the relay CR-4 (not shown) in an energized state and indicates the end of the processing cycle. When both contacts CR-3 and CR-4 are closed, relay CR-S is activated thus permitting the start of the indexing cycle.

At the end of the index cycle, a contact opens de-activating the entire system by de-energizing all of the relays and thereby readying the system for a subsequent restart.

FIG. 5 is an electrical schematic of the switch-over of the corotron voltage from positive to negative to achieve certain results herein mentioned for development of the migration imaging films. A contact relay CR-6 maintains the output of a high voltage power supply such that the polarity of the voltage contacting the corotron wire 107 is positive by having the contact CR-6A connect the positive pole output of the high voltage power supply to the corotron wire and the contact CR-6B connect the negative pole of the high voltage power supply to the corotron shield or ground. By closing switch SW-2 activating the relay CR-6, the contacts CR-6A and CR-6B switch the output poles of the high voltage power supply to the corotron wire and shield thus making the corotron wire negative thereby producing a negative corona discharge on the corotron for contact with the photoelectrosolographic film. A resistor R-l is placed in the line leading from contact CR-6B to the corotron wire thereby reducing the effective negative voltage reaching the corotron wire when the relay CR-6 is activated. This permits a lower voltage supply to the corotron wire when in the negative mode then is supplied to the wire when in the positive mode. Switch SW-3 turns the high voltage power supply on and off.

SILVER HALIDE PROCESSING The operation of processing silver halide film is shown in the block diagram of FIG. 6. Here a silver halide roll film input is threaded as is the film 20 in FIGS. 1-3. At the start of the cycle an input original is illuminated by any suitable radiation emitting source and the first frame at exposure station 22 is exposed to the light rays of the input original for a time sufficient to affect the photosensitive materials. The film is then indexed so that the frame just exposed enters into the processing station 24 and a second frame is brought to the exposure station 22. The back plate 88 of the camera-processor is moved away from the film when this index step takes place and then is moved to its operating position to clamp the film 20 to the exposure station 22 and the processing station 24 such that there is a fluid tight seal at the chamber 116. Through the operation of the vacuum system at vacuum plate 98, the film is held flat at the exposure aperture 114.

Again the frame, albeit a different frame, at the exposure station is exposed to the light rays of the input original while in the chamber portion of the apparatus, silver halide developer solution such as hydroquinone phenidone flows past the previously exposed frame of the silver halide film thus reducing to metallic silver those portions of the film exposed to the light. The fluid flows in a laminar flow stream against gravity in a highly controlled manner to activate the photosensitive substances in the silver halide film. Both the exposure and processing occur simultaneously. After sufficient time to develop the previously exposed film (and this varies with the type of developer used,) the flow of the developer fluid is withdrawn by suitable valves external to the camera-processor and a fix solution, for example ammonium thiocyanate, flows past the film at the chamber. When the fix solution has had time to de-activate the reducing power of the film developer and make a water soluble solution of the unreduced silver halide, the fix solution valve cuts off the flow and a third source of fluid supply provides a rinse fluid, usually water, to the chamber to remove any residual developer and the fix solution. After the rinse solution passes the film surface at the chamber opening the film is dried in the chamber either by an internal heater such as is shown schematically in FIG. 1 and designated by the numeral 50 or warm air or the like brought into contact with the film by flowing through the chamber. When the drying step of the processing cycle is completed and the exposure of the next succeeding frame of film is also completed, the motor M-2 is activated and acting through belt 178 and clutch 188 the apparatus causes the back plate gear box to rotate, bringing the limit nut 126 toward limit switch 132 and causing the back plate 88 to pivot on its axis so that the upper portion moves away from the back portion of the film. When the limit nut 126 contacts the limit switch 132 the clutch 188 is disengaged and the movement of the back plate 88 ceases. At this point electric clutch 194 operates to turn the drive roller 32 in a clockwise direction causing the film to move toward take-up spool 36. After one frame of movement, the electric brake 196 stops the operation of the drive roller 32 and the film comes to rest. Then, the clutch 188 operates to cause the gear box 120 to rotate in the opposite direction to that which removed the back plate 88 from the film. This causes limit nut 128 to move toward limit switch 130 and through the linkage with back plate 88. This causes the back plate to return to its active position clamping the film 20 against the exposure aperture and the chamber such that the portion of the film previously exposed is now within the processing area at the opening of the chamber and a new unexposed and unprocessed portion of the film 20 is at the exposure station. The completed output from a continuous cycling would be a roll of film in a form collated according to the input supplied and completely processed, fixed and dried.

MIGRATION IMAGING PROCESS FIG. 7 represents a block diagram for the development of a migration imaging film. After the exposure of the first frame and the first indexing, there is at the exposure station 22 a portion of film that has been neither activated, exposed nor processed while, at the processing station 24, there is a section of film that has been both charged and exposed. The cycle continues with a migration imaging film input designated in the preceding figures by the numeral 20. At the exposure station 22 the film is charged with a uniform charge of between and 300 volts depending on the material and on results required such as positive or negative imaging, etc. This is accomplished by causing the corotron wire 107 to traverse the film surface across the aperture 114 of the exposure station 22 by a left-right hand cylindrical cam thereby laying down a uniform charge across the surface of the film strip at that aperture. This movement is accomplished by activating motor M-l which turns the cam mechanism bringing the corotron across the aperture 114 at which point a limit switch (not shown) is tripped stopping the movement of thecorotron. After charging, the shutter mechanism in the assembly 40 is tripped and the film is exposed to light radiation from an input original.

Simultaneously, while the charging and exposing of the migration imaging film is taking place, that portion of the film which was previously charged and exposed and which has a latent image thereon is in the process chamber undergoing suitable processing as shown in FIG. 7. First a liquid developer such as trichloroethane or the like capable of dissolving the soluble layer is brought into contact with the film surface at the processing station. The solvent dissolves only the soluble layer. The photosensitive coating of particles migrates through the soluble layer in image configuration as the soluble layer dissolves, leaving an image of migrated particles correspond ing to the radiation pattern of an original on the substrate with material of the soluble layer and the unmigrated portions of the photosensitive coating being substantially completely washed away with removal thereof through the egress tubing 144. The photosensitive coating is made generally and preferably of selenium or alloys or compositions thereof.

When the film is charged with a positive polarity to a voltage range from about 100 to 300 volts or a negative polarity of 25 to 150 volts optimum results are obtained. For both of the above positive and negative voltage ranges, the photoconductive material in the areas exposed to radiation migrates when developed in a solvent while the areas unexposed to radiation are removed by the developing solvent along with the soluble layer. This process results in a negative of the original being formed. If the positive polarity exceeds about 300 volts, then upon development the migration of the photoconductive particles occurs in areas which have not been exposed to radiation, and forms a positive of the original image. These figures, however, are subject to change as different migration imaging films are developed or different materials or parameters are employed in such films.

The portions that are removed are in image configuration are either the background on a positive image system or the image areas on a negative imaging system (depending on previous action such as described in the preceding paragraph). The valve leadingto the source of the development liquid is then closed and the chamber is allowed to drain or is positively cleaned of the development liquid. The film is dried by using the heater mechanism designated numeral 50 in FIG. 1 or by passing warm air through the chamber to dry the film surface. When both the charging and exposing of the frame of film at the exposure station 22 and the liquid development, draining and drying of the frame of film at the processing'station 24 are complete, the control mechanism operates motor M-2. M-2 functions in the same manner as described above for silver halide film and the entire roll of film is indexed one frame for the continuation of the cycle described above. The output of the finished roll of film is a single roll collated in accordance with the input originals and fully processed and dried. For a more detailed description of the method employed by the apparatus herein, see copending application Ser. No. 483,675, filed August 30, 1965, in the name of W. L. Goffe.

FIG. 8 shows another method which the apparatus described in FIGS. 1-3 is capable of achieving for exposing and processing migration imaging film. After the first charging and exposure of a single frame of film and the first indexing to bring that frame to the processing station 24, the cycle continues for the remainder of the film that is to be exposed in that the corotron 107 traverses the exposure aperture 114 through the action of motor M-l as described for the process represented by FIG. 7. Note that the cylindrical cam which drives the corotron is a double cam to permit motion of the corotron and shield in either direction across the aperture 114. For each single frame, however, the movement of the corotron across-the aperture need be only in one direction. After the charging of the film to present a uniform electrostatic charge across its surface, the film is exposed to an input original which selectively dissipates the charge as described the preceding figure.

The processing of the previously charged and exposed frame is done simultaneously with the charging and exposing of the frame located at the exposure station 22. With this method, however, an easier processing system is employed. A simple chamber such as the type shown schematically in FIG. 1 may be used and the only fluid flow need be a vapor of trichloroethylene or a similar substance to cause a migration of the surface particles of the film through the softened interface layer, such layer being softened by the application of the vapor trichloroethylene. The migration is caused by the strong attraction due to the electrostatic charge on the surface of the film. After the migration there are particles of the selenium or other photosensitive surface coating of the film at the surface and other particles at the conductive substrate of the film and a visible but difficult to discern image now appears on the film. By the addition of heat through a heating plate such as that designated number 50 in FIG. 1 or hot air of approximately 200F., the portion of the photoelectric surface which did not migrate to the substrate and which forms the background of the image agglomerates together allowing considerable light to pass between the agglomerate particles providing a suitable film for later projection. After both the charging and exposure at the exposure station and the vapor development and heating in the chamber at the processing station the film is indexed one frame through motor M-2 as described above and an output of collated film processed and fixed results. For more details of the processes involved herein see copending application Ser. No. 6l2,l22 cited above.

FIG. 9 represents an alternative means of achieving the same results and employing the same method for exposing and processing migration imaging film as'shown in the block diagram of FIG. 8. The major difference here being that the application of heat to the exposed and partially processed sensitive film occurs not in the chamber nor in the processing area but at a time after the indexing of the film. The simultaneous charging, exposure and processing in this operation occurs with only the vapor development in the chamber. The vapor development occurs in a matter of -15 seconds depending on vapor concentration and temperature. After both the vapor development and the charging and exposing of the individual frames of the migration imaging film are completed, the indexing occurs and the film is passed through a heating means such as an oven or radiant heater of the type depicted in FIG. 1 and designated by the numeral 38 or by passing the film over a heated roller such as that designated by numeral 150 in FIG. 2. The heating element, be it an oven or radiant heat source or roller or the like, may be constantly in operation or may be operated intermittently while the film is being indexed. It can be activated either while the film is moving or after it has come to a stop for another frame to be processed. The film should be heated to approximately 190F. for agglomeration of the background particles. The output from the cameraprocessor is again a roll of film that has been processed and fixed.

In the block diagrams of both FIGS. 8 and 9 it is possible to eliminate the heating step. This would provide a migration image by vapor development but would not cause agglomeration of the background particles for superior background reduction. However, in some applications of microfilm projection it is not necessary that a low density background be provided on the film strip as long as there is a difference in density between the image and non-image areas. The camera-processor described herein is capable of exposing and processing in accordance with the diagrams of FIGS. 8 and 9 without the heating step thereby providing a viewable image, albeit with high background, but suitable for projection.

The fluid handling system of FIG. 10 shows a schematic dia- 7 gram of the flow system employed in the processing of the migration imaging film described by the block diagram of FIG. 7. It shows in conjunction with the valve timing diagram of FIG. 11, the flow system for bringing the necessary fluids to the process chamber to develop the film through liquid development. In FIG. 11, the lines above the valve numbers indicate the valves are open. A line below the valve number shows the valve is closed. The vacuum pump P-l is continually operating throughout the operation of the cameraprocessor. The valve V-l is normally in the open position and as the process starts, the valve V-3 closes and V-2 opens its a port.

A developer liquid such as trichloroethylene comes from the development solution sump 300 and passes through the tubing leading therefrom through valve V-2a through the ingress port 216 of the chamber where it contacts the previously charged and exposed migration imaging film and then exits the chamber at port 218 passing through the open valve V-l to be deposited in the solution separator tank 302 where the spent solution is permitted to separate out and air is drawn through the vacuum pump. The use of the separator tankprevents the vacuum pump from becoming contaminated with liquids. The air that passes through the vacuum pump is dispersed into the atmosphere. This development cycle takes approximately 2 seconds for standard operation.

After the 2 second development, a timer shifts V-2 to its b position. Valve V-3 opens at the same time so that the pump P-l can clear the solvent out of the tubing from V-3 to the pump by pulling the air from the atmosphere through V-3 and bringing the solution in the line down through V-l to be separated at tank 302. With V-2b open, gravity causes the flow of liquid from the chamber side of V-3 through the tubing of V-2 through outlet b and to either a waste container 304 or through a filter 306 to be recirculated in the development solution held in tank 300. The filter 306 removes any solid material such as selenium photoconductor that has been washed off the film during the development cycle. This drain step takes approximately 2 seconds.

After the drain step is complete, the valve V-4 opens and valve V-3 closes at the same time. Air held under pressure of approximately 20 pounds per square inch in container 308 pushes through open valve V-4, bypassing closed valve V-3, to enter the chamber in a reverse manner from the developer fluid flow i.e. entering port 218 and exiting from port 216, and then passes through valve V-2b where the air is allowed to escape through the waste container 304. This movement of air not only acts to dry the film in the chamber but also to dry the lines of liquid and vapor that have accumulated therein. This step takes approximately 5 seconds. After the drying cycle valves V-l, V-2b and V-4 close preventing any flow of any substance through the chamber while the film is indexed. The air in container 308 may be heated to more rapidly provide a drying of the film at the chamber but this is not essential. After the indexing of the film, the cycle repeats itself in the same manner as described above.

FIG. 12 shows the fluid handling system for development of silver halide emulsion film in the camera-processor. The steps are very similar to those for liquid development of the photoelectrosolographic film except that two extra tanks are added to the developer tank 300. These contain a fixer and a rinse solution. In this operation the vacuum pump P-l is constantly running as long as the camera-processor is in operation. The valves V-l, V-2a and V-S open. (All valves are closed unless otherwise indicated.) Valve V-2 is open to its a" position. A developer fluid such as hydroquinone phenidone passes through valves V-S and V-2a into the chamber through valve V-ll and down to the separator tank 302 which traps the liquid developer and allows air to go through the pump to be dispersed to the atmosphere.

After the time required for the developer to pass over the film surface at the process chamber, valve V-2 closes at its a position and opens to its b position permitting drainage of the developer from valve V-3 through the chamber and through the tubing leading from valve V-2. This drain is deposited in a waste container 304. At the same time, the valve V-3 opens to permit the vacuum pump to clear solution from the lines from a point at valve V-3 through valve V-l and to the solution separator container 302.

Valves V-3 and V-5 close and V-6 opens permitting a fixer solution such as ammonium thiocyanate to be circulated from the fixer tank 310 through the system in the same manner as the developer was when valve V-5 was open. The system cycles through the develop end and drain steps to bring the fixer solution in contact with the film and drained to the waste position. After the fixer solution passes through the system, valve V-6 and V-3 close and V-7 opens allowing a rinse solution such as water to circulate from the rinse tank 312 through the develop and drain steps just as the developer and fixer solutions did before. Valve V-7 now closes as does V-3. Valve V-4 opens permitting air to come through valve V-4 to the chamber and down through valve V-2b to dry the film and drive out all the fluids from the tubing system. The tanks holding the developer fixer and rinse solutions are immersed in a water bath 314 for temperature control.

FIG. 13 shows the fluid handling system for development of migration imaging films by a vapor as shown by the block diagrams in FIGS. 8 or 9. There is shown a schematic method of vapor generating, which is only by way of example. The vapor generator is always in operation as long as the camera-processor is in operation and it bubbles air under pressure in tank 320 through a valve V-8 into a liquid bath of the solution required to be vaporized held with a container 322. Also operating continuously is a vacuum pump P-2 which has a vacuum control valve V-9 in the fluid release line with a port designated b open to atmosphere. By adjusting the relative apertures at the a" and b positions of valve V-9 the speed of flow of vapor through the process chamber can be regulated. When the vapor developer is required to be brought through the process chamber, valve V-I0 opens permitting a flow of vapor from the vapor generator container 322 through the process chamber and through and out of the vacuum pump. When the process chamber no longer requires vapor to develop the film held therein, valve V10 opens to its b position to permit air to flow through the chamber thus clearing it and the tubing leading therefrom of vapor which is evacuated through pump P-2. When the index step of the process occurs, valve V-9 is opened to its air b position closing off the vacuum pulling through the process chamber without requiring the shutdown of the vacuum pump.

While the invention has been described with reference to the structure disclosed herein, it is not confined to the details set forth, and this application is intended to cover such modifications or changes as may come within the purposes of the improvements or the scope of the following claims.

I claim:

1. Apparatus for imaging on photosensitive film comprising:

a. indexing means for advancing photosensitive film through a predetermined path;

b. an exposure station positioned along said path incorporating means to expose said film to a radiation pattern;

c. a processing chamber along the path of the film, after said exposure station, the processing chamber having an aperture in the chamber wall, said film being positioned to engage the chamber at the aperture;

d. means to seal the chamber aperture with the film comprising a film back pressure plate mounted for movement to contact the film back, which is the side of the film opposite said film front facing said chamber aperture, causing a pressure fit between the front surface of the film and the portions of the chamber defining the aperture to thereby contact and cover the aperture with the front surface of the film; and

e. fluid transport means to transport at least one fluid to said chamber wherein said fluid contacts and affects a sensitive side of said film.

2. The apparatus of claim 1 including in combination a heating means within said chamber and adjacent said aperture.

3. Apparatus according to claim 1 wherein said film back pressure plate is also mounted for movement to contact the back of the film in the exposure station at substantially the same time as it contacts the back of the film at said processing chamber.

4. Apparatus for imaging on photosensitive film comprising:

a. indexing means for advancing photosensitive film through a predetermined path;

b. an exposure station positioned along said path incorporating optical projection means to expose said film to a radiation pattern and further incorporating means to position the film in the focal plane of said optical projection means comprising a fiat vacuum platen parallel to the focal plane on the side opposite said optical projection means from the film, such that the film is interposed therebetween;

c. means to present a vacuum at said vacuum platen for drawing the film thereat to said platen such that the sensitive surface of the film lies substantially in the focal plane and substantially flat;

. a processing chamber along the path of the film, after said exposure station, the processing chamber having an aperture in the chamber wall, said film being positioned to en- 7 gage the chamber at the aperture; and

e. fluid transport means to transport at least one fluid to said chamber wherein said fluid contacts and affects a sensitive side of said film.

5. Apparatus for imaging on photoelectrically sensitive film comprising:

a. indexing means for advancing said film through a predetermined path;

b. an exposure station positioned along said path incorporating means to expose said film to a radiation pattern;

c. a processing chamber along the path of the film, after said exposure station, the processing chamber having an aperture in the chamber wall, said film being positioned to engage the chamber at the aperture;

(1. means to seal the chamber aperture with the film causing a pressure fit between the film and the exterior portions of the chamber wall defining the periphery of the aperture to thereby cover the aperture with film to prevent the escape of the fluids from said chamber during processing of the film;

e. fluid transport means to transport at least one fluid to said chamber wherein said fluid contacts and affects a sensi tive side of said film; and

f. a light-tight box adapted to contain said exposure station and said processing chamber and portions of said film therein, the apparatus further including within said box an electrostatic charging means positioned along the path of the film and adapted to sensitize the film before'the film is exposed.

6. The apparatus of claim 5 wherein said charging means is positioned at said exposure station and has associated therewith means for moving said charging means across the film surface at a constant rate.

7. The apparatus of claim 5 wherein said electrostatic charging means includes a corona generating means fixedly attached to said light-tight box and operatively positioned transverse to the film path such that it charges that portion of the film entering the exposure station as the indexing means moves the film to such station whereby the film traverses the corona generating means in the film path.

8. Apparatus for imaging on photoelectrically sensitive film comprising:

a. indexing means for advancing said film through a predetermined path;

b. electrostatic charging means positioned along the path of the film and adapted to sensitize the film before it is exposed; wherein said electrostatic charging means has a power supply and control circuit associated therewith to activate said charging means to selectively emit a positive or negative charge as the film and electrostatic charging means move relative to one another;

c. an exposure station positioned along said path incorporating means to expose said film to a radiation pattern;

(1. a processing chamber along the path of the film, after said exposure station, the processing chamber having an aperture in the chamber wall, said film being positioned to engage the chamber at the aperture; wherein said chamber has associated therewith means to seal the chamber aperture with the film causing a pressure fit between the film and the exterior portions of the chamber wall defining the periphery of the aperture to thereby cover the aperture with film, to prevent escape of fluids from said chamber during processing of the film;

e. a light-tight box adapted to contain said exposure station and said processing chamber and portions of said film therein; and

f. fluid transport means to transport at least one fluid to said chamber wherein said fluid contacts and effects a sensitive side of said film.

9. The apparatus of claim 5 wherein said charging means is positioned at said exposure station interposed between said means to expose the film, said charging means being adapted to deposit a uniform electrostatic charge on the film.

10. The apparatus of claim 5 wherein the light-tight box has further associated therewith means for grounding the photoelectrically sensitive film.

11. The apparatus of claim 5 wherein said fluid transport means includes a vaporgenerator adapted to contain at least one fluid and conduit means connected between said generator and said chamber whereby the vapor is made operable at the chamber.

12. Apparatus for imaging on photoelectrically sensitive film comprising:

a. indexing means for advancing said film through a predetermined path;

b. electrostatic charging means positioned along the path of the film and adapted to sensitize the film before it is exposed;

c. an exposure station positioned along said path incor porating means to expose said film to a radiation pattern;

d. a processing chamber along the path of the film, after said exposure station, the processing chamber having an aperture in the chamber wall, said film being positioned to engage the chamber at the aperture; wherein said chamber has associated therewith means to seal the chamber aperture with the film causing a pressure fit between the film and the exterior portions of the chamber wall defining the periphery of the aperture to thereby cover the aperture with film, to prevent escape of fluids from said chamber during processing of the film;

. a light-tight box adapted to contain said exposure station and said processing chamber and portions of said film therein; and

f. fluid transport means to transport at least one fluid to said chamber wherein said fluid contacts and effects a sensitive side of said film, said fluid transport means including a vapor generator means adapted to contain at least one fluid, conduit means connected between said generator and said chamber whereby the vapor is made operable at the chamber and wherein said vapor generator means includes a pressurized container means adapted to contain at least one fluid operable at the chamber.

13. Apparatus for imaging on photoelectrically sensitive film wherein said photoelectrically sensitive film includes a layer between a sensitive surface comprising a photoconductor and a base, said layer being dissolvable by at least one of the fluids operable on the film at the chamber; the apparatus comprising:

a. indexing means for advancing said film through a predetermined path; electrostatic charging means positioned along the path of the film and adapted to sensitize the film before it is exposed;

. an exposure station positioned along said path incorporating means to expose said film to a radiation pattern;

. a processing chamber along the path of the film, after said exposure station, the processing chamber having an aperture in the chamber wall, said film being positioned to engage the chamber at the aperture; wherein said chamber has associated therewith means to seal the chamber aperture with the film causing a pressure fit between the film and the exterior portions of the chamber wall defining the periphery of the aperture to thereby cover the aperture with film, to prevent escape of fluids from said chamber during processing of the film;

. a light-tight box adapted to contain said exposure station and said processing chamber and portions of said film therein; and

f. fluid transport means to transport at least one fluid to said chamber wherein said fluid contacts and effects a sensitive side of said film.

14. Apparatus for imaging on photoelectrically sensitive film wherein said photoelectrically sensitive film includes a layer between a sensitive surface comprising a photoconduc tor and a base, said layer being softenable by at least one of the fluids operable on the film at the chamber; the apparatus comprising:

predetermined path;

w I blelectfo statflc charging ihh'ifsiiisitioh'd along the path of the film and adapted to sensitize the film before it is exposed;

w ET an exposure station positioned along said path incor porating means to expose said film to a radiation pattern;

d. a processing chamber along the path ofthefil m, after said exposure station, the processing chamber having an aperture in the chamber wall, said film being positioned to engage the chamber at the aperture; wherein said chamber has associated therewith means to seal the chamber aperture with the film causing a pressure fit between the film and the exterior portions of the chamber wall defining the periphery of the aperture to thereby cover the aperture and said processing chamber and portions of said fil rn therein; and

f. fluid transport means to transport at least one fluid to said chamber wherein said fluid contacts and effects a sensitive side of said filmv 15. The apparatus of claim 13 wherein said fluids operable at said chamber include:

a liquid capable of dissolving said layer whereby portions of the sensitive surface migrate, in radiation pattern image configuration toward the base, said liquid adapted to be transported through said chamber by said fluid transport means for a length of time sufficient to form a visible image on said film by selectively removing some of the sensitized surface from the film and washing it away with the dissolvable layer;

and a film drying fluid, said film drying fluid being transported through said chamber after said liquid for a length of time sufficient to substantially dry the film.

16. The apparatus of claim 14 wherein said fluids operable at the chamber include:

a vapor capable of softening the layer of the film.

17. The apparatus of claim 16 wherein said fluids operable at the chamber further include:

a hot fluid adapted to be transported through said chamber by said transport means for a length of time sufficient to permit an agglomeration of the background of the image on the film.

18. The apparatus of claim 16 including in combination a heating means within said chamber and adjacent said aperture for heating the film after the time the film has been exposed to the fluids operable at said chamber.

19. The apparatus of claim 16 including in combination a heating means in the path of the film after said processing chamber for heating the film after the film has been advanced in its path past said processing chamber.

20. The apparatus of claim 19 wherein said heating means includes an oven through which the film passes.

21. The apparatus of claim 19 wherein said heating means includes a radiant heat source.

22. Apparatus according to claim 3 wherein said indexing means incorporates means for step advancing said film through the predetermined film path and wherein said film back pressure plate further incorporates in combination means to lift said pressure plate away from said film at both said exposure station and said processing chamber to permit said indexing means to step advance another portion of said film, respectively, into said exposure station and said processing chamber, said pressure plate further incorporated in combination with means to bring said film back pressure plate into pressing contact with the film back once again at both said exposure station and said processing chamber after said film has been step advanced.

23. Apparatus according to claim 22 including in combination a heating means within said chamber and adjacent said aperture; a light-tight box adapted to contain said exposure station and said processing chamber and portions of said film therein; and an electrostatic charging means positioned in the path of the film adapted to sensitize the film before the film is exposed.

24. Apparatus according to claim 23 further including at said exposure station means to position the film in the focal plane of said optical projection means comprising a flat vacuum platen parallel to the focal plane on the side of the film opposite said optical projection means, such that the film is interposed therebetween and means to present a vacuum at 7 said vacuum platen for drawing the film thereat to said platen such that the sensitive surface of the film lies substantially in the focal plane and is substantially flat.

25. The apparatus of claim 19 wherein said heating means includes a heated roller positioned to contact the film.

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Classifications
U.S. Classification399/237, 399/46, 355/27, 399/140, 399/170, 396/45, 355/64, 396/31, 396/440, 396/604
International ClassificationG03G15/06, G03G15/26, G03B1/48
Cooperative ClassificationG03B1/48, G03G15/26, G03G15/06
European ClassificationG03B1/48, G03G15/06, G03G15/26