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Publication numberUS3733709 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateMay 22, 1973
Filing dateMay 6, 1971
Priority dateMay 6, 1971
Publication numberUS 3733709 A, US 3733709A, US-A-3733709, US3733709 A, US3733709A
InventorsBassemir R, Mayer J
Original AssigneeSun Chemical Corp
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Reflector and cooling means therefor
US 3733709 A
Abstract
Printing apparatus utilizing lamps generating ultraviolet light to cure solvent-free ink by photopolymerization is provided with lamp reflectors having shutters to permit the lamps to remain energized while the printed work conveyor is stopped or is moving at a slow rate. A plurality of such lamps, each with an individual shutter, are arranged in parallel rows extending transverse to direction of movement of the work. As the shutters are closed, lamp voltage is reduced to a standby point where the lamps remain fired. Air is circulated at the same time behind the lamp reflector for cooling of the latter without appreciably cooling the lamp. Each reflector is a sheet of non-oxidizing metal mounted in the concave portion of a structurally strong housing. End reflectors prevent end scattering of the lamp-radiated energy and shield the lamp sockets from the heating effects of this energy. The lamp sockets are repositionable with respect to the reflector so that the arc thereof may be positioned generally along the focus line of the reflector for different positions of the focus line with respect to earth.
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United States Patent 1191 Bassemir et al.

[11] 3,733,709 1451 May 22,1973

[54] REFLECTOR AND COOLING MEANS THEREFOR [73] Assignee: Sun Chemical Corporation, New

York,N.Y.

[22] Filed: May 6,1971

[21] Appl. No.: 140,760

[52] U.S. Cl. ..34/4, 34/1, 34/7, 263/8 [51] Int. Cl ..F26b 3/28 [58] Field of Search ..263/8; 34/1, 4, 7, 34/49 [56] References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 3,187,162 6/1965 Hojo et a]. ..34/1 X Primary Examiner-Kenneth W. Sprague Attorney-Cynthia Berlow [57] ABSTRACT Printing apparatus utilizing lamps generating ultraviolet light to cure solvent-free ink by photopolymerization is provided with lamp reflectors having shutters to permit the lamps to remain energized while the printed work conveyor is stopped or is moving at a slow rate. A plurality of such lamps, each with an individual shutter, are arranged in parallel rows extending transverse to direction of movement of the work. As the shutters are closed, lamp voltage is reduced to a standby point where the lamps remain fired. Air is circulated at the same time behind the lamp reflector for cooling of the latter without appreciably cooling the lamp. Each reflector is a sheet of non-oxidizing metal mounted in the concave portion of a structurally strong housing. End reflectors prevent end scattering of the lamp-radiated energy and shield the lamp sockets from the heating effects of this energy. The lamp sockets are repositionable with respect to the reflector so that the arc thereof may be posi- Ct 31. t [ioned generally along the focus line of the reflector 3,584,389 6/1971 Hilton et al... ..34/1 for different positions of the focus line with respect to 3,287,815 11/1966 11 1131111.... ...34/7 mm 3,637,983 1/1972 Nelson ..34/49 11 Claims, 6 Drawing Figures sear/5W4 awz/rra? (UN/770A 5a 3 SPi-D Cab 4 01 W T A W41? F5505 (6 J2 I r looooooooooooo /z l z/ REFLECTOR AND COOLING MEANS THEREFOR This invention relates to printing apparatus in general, and more particularly relates to means for curing solvent-free inks, and is an improvement over the apparatus disclosed in U. S. Pat. No. 3,159,464 issued Dec. 1, 1964, to H. C. Early et al. for a Method of Drying Printed Webs.

Solvent-free inks and other solvent-free coatings are finding increased utilization in industry, particularly in view of the fact that use of such materials greatly-lowers or completely eliminates air pollution of the type that results from the curingof solvent bearing inks and coatings. High speed curing of solvent-free materials is accomplished by utilizing high power ultraviolet radiation which is directed at the material immediately after application thereof.

In accordance with the instant invention, in printing apparatus ultraviolet radiation is produced by a plural-,

ity of parallel elongated tubes extending transverse to the direction of movement of the printed material. As-, sociated with each lamp is an elliptical reflector means for concentrating the ultraviolet radiation in narrow bands impinging upon the printed material as the latter leaves the printing station of the apparatus. The reflector sheet is force-cooled by air circulation primarily at the rear of the reflector. Since excessive cooling on-the lamp side of the reflector would cause the lamp to cool excessively and extinguish, air circulation is. for-the most part, directed through a housing towhich the reflector sheet is mounted.

Shutter means are operable to a closed position to block light from impinging upon the printed material without the necessity of extinguishing the lamp. Operation of the shutter means is coordinated with speed of travel of the printed material past the lamps, with a decrease of speed automatically being accompanied by a decrease in the amount of ultraviolet, lightimpinging instantaneously on the printed matter, such automatic control being accomplished by closing the shutters for the required number of lamps. Since the retiring time for the lamps in question is usually in the neighborhood of ten to twelve minutes, in order to conserve press time the lamps should not be extinguished. Thus, in order to prevent excessive heating of the reflector when its shutter is closed, the lamp is operated at reduced or standby power, with-firing maintained, and at this time increased air circulation is applied for cooling of the reflector.

End reflectors prevent end spill of lamp radiation and shield the lamp sockets from excess heating. The sockets are repositionable on the housing so that the lamp are, which tends to rise, will lie generally on the focus line of the reflector for each position of the reflector relative to ground.

The reflector sheet is constructed of a metal, such as Lurium or Alzak, that retains its reflecting properties lamp reflector, and shutter means to selectively block energy from the reflector.

A further object is to provide a novel construction for a housing which carries a reflecting sheet for an elongated tubular lamp.

These objects as well as other objects of this invention will become readily apparent after reading the following description of the accompanying drawings, in which:

FIG. -1 is a schematic illustrating a portion of printing apparatus constructed in accordance with teachings of the instant invention.

FIG. 2 is a perspective of a lamp reflector assembly for the apparatus of FIG. 1.

FIGS. 3 and 4 are end views of the lamp reflector assembly, looking from left to right, with respect to FIG. 2. In FIG. 3 the reflector-shutter is opened and in FIG. 4 the shutter is closed.

FIG. Sis an elevation showing a fragment of the reflector sheet and its loose connection to the reflector housing.

FIG. 6 is a cross-section taken through line 66 of FIG. 5, looking in the direction of arrows 6-6.

Now referring to the figures. Printing apparatus 10, illustrated schematically in FIG. 1, includes feed chain 11 driven in the direction of arrow A by feed sprocket l2 and guided by idler 13 and additional idlers (not shown). A plurality of releasable grippers 14 carried by feed chain 11 hold individual sheets 15 for conveyance by chain llalong a feed path that extends between pressure cylinder 17 and print cylinder 18.

After printing is applied to sheets 15, they pass over water-cooled plate 21, being spaced thereabove by approximately 1 inch. While sheets 15 pass over cooling plate 21, they pass beneath radiant energy source lampreflector assemblies 2629 to cure by photopolymerization the solvent-free ink applied to sheets 15 by print cylinder 18. As will hereinafter be seen, each assembly 26-29 causes a high intensity radiant image to be formed on work surface or feed path traveled by sheets 15. Since each of the assemblies 26-29 is identical, only the essential details of assembly 26 will be hereinafter described by particular reference to FIGS. 25.

Assembly 26 includes elongated tubular ultravioletproducing lamp 31 and stationary hood-like elliptical reflector sheet 32 positioned to the rear of lamp 31 to focus energy near peak intensity from lamp 31, so that such energy is concentrated over a short distance along the feed path for chain 11 and housing 36 to the rear of reflector sheet 32 provides a support for sheet 32 and lamp sockets 37. Reflector extensions 33, 34 are hinged to housing 36 along the lower edges of concave bottom wall section 36a and constitute a shutter means operable between the open position of FIG. 3 and the closed position of FIG. 4. Typically, lamp 31 is a quartz, medium pressure, mercury discharge tube, in the power range of 50 to 400 watts per inch.

Housing 36 is constructed of structurally strong metal, whereas reflector 32 is of relatively thin stock, typically 0.005 inch to 0.150 inch thick. Preferably, the latter is constructed of a lightweight metal that retains reflective properties by resisting oxidation even in an oxidizing atmosphere accompanied by heat and ultraviolet radiation. Suitable metals are sold under the trademarks Lurium and Alzak. Reflector 32 is mounted to concave housing wall 36 a by a plurality of screws 88 (FIGS. 5 and 6) that pass through longitudinally extending slots 87 in reflector 32. Th'is type of mounting permits reflector 32 to expand and contract'independently of housing 36 when temperature differentials are present. Relative movement between reflector 32 and housing wall 36a is also facilitated by having the threaded body of screw 88 of a diameter substantially less than the width of slot 87. I

Housing 36 is shaped to provide a conduit to guide flow of cooling air over the rear surface of housing wall 36a which is in contact, or heat conducting relationship, with reflector sheet 32. In particular, lamp tube 31 is positioned at the focus of elliptical reflector 32, which extends along the full length of lamp 31.

In a manner well known to the art, electrical connections to lamp 31 are made through cap-type sockets 37 at opposite ends of lamp 31, with such sockets being mechanically supported at opposite ends of housing 36 on end walls 36b, 36c thereof. Additional holes 89 in walls 36b, 36c are provided for repositioning of sockets 37, depending upon the orientation of assembly 26 with respect to earth in that the arc in lamp 31 tends to rise toward the top of the lamp tube. Thus, in order to maintain the are at the focal point of reflector sheet 32, sockets 37 must be appropriately positioned.

The top wall of housing 36 is provided with a plurality of indented louvers 38, while the inwardly turned portions at the bottom edges of housing 36 are provided with a plurality of small holes 39. Left end wall 36b of housing 36 is provided with circular exhaust opening 42, surrounded by outwardly extending cylindrical sleeve 43. A flexible conduit (not shown) from a suction blower (not shown) is adapted to be attached to sleeve 43 to draw air into housing 36 through louvers 38, with such air circulating over the rear surface wall 360 to cool reflector 32. Holes 39' along the lower edges of housing 36 are provided for drawing off of ozone, generated by ignited lamp 31, especially during warm-up thereof, into the air stream generated by the suction blower shown schematically in FIG. 1 as dual speed fan 46.

The inner surfaces of shutters 33, 34 are polished to reflect the energy from lamp 31 and cooperate with reflector sheet 32 in concentrating this energy. Baffle sheets 41b, 41c, inboard of end walls 36b, 360 respectively, are provided with reflecting surfaces to reflect energy back into the work area and assist reflector sheet 32 in preventing energy intensity drop-off at the end regions of reflector 32. Baffle sheets also serve to partially shield sockets 37 from the heating effects of lamp radiation. Concave wall 36a in the regions between baffles 41b and 41c and their respective near end walls 36b, 360 are provided with apertures 83 through which cooling air is drawn over sockets 37. Thus, fan 46 creates a suction on negative pressure, which causes air to flow in chambers 80b, 80c past the lamp ends in sockets 37 and through housing chamber 79, in such a manner that sockets 37 and reflector 32 ac cooled, yet little if any air moves past the major portion of the lamp body.

Shutter sections 33, 34 are hingedly connected at 47, 48 to the free edges of concave housing wall 36a along the entire length thereof. Follower rollers 51, 52 are secured to the free edges of the respective shutter parts 33, 34 and are disposed to move within slot 53 of operating member 54. Upward movement of upper 54 is effective to force rollers 51, 52 to converge, thereby opcrating shutter 33, 34 from the open position of FIG.

3 to the closed position of FIG. 4.

In operation conveyor speed control 56 (FIG. 1), acting to control the speed of drive sprocket 12, feeds signals to control 55, which sequentially operates the shutters of lamp reflector assemblies 26-29. More particularly, as work conveyor 11 slows down, the number of shutters operated to close positions is increased so as to prevent overheating of the work. That is, as printedsheets 15 move at a slower rate they are in the field of radiant energy source 25 for a longer time so that in order to maintain the total quantity of radiant energy impinging on printed sheets 15 to a desired level it is necessary to decrease the available energy from source 25 that is applied to printed sheets 15. This is accomplished by closing the shutters of those lamp reflector assemblies 26-29 that are not required.

Operation of the shutter means 33, 34 for each of the assemblies 26-29 is coordinated by control 60, so that upon closing of shutter 33, 34 lamp voltage is reduced to a point where current through lamp 31 is at a standby level, much lower than the operating current level. At the same time reflector cooling is increased, through increase of blower motor speed or operation of a damper (not shown). It is noted that standby current is at a level which will maintain lamp 31 in a fired condition. Conversely, opening of shutter 33, 34 is accompanied by an increase in lamp voltage and a decrease in the amount of cooling air impinging on stationary reflector 32. Increased cooling is required when shutter 33, 34 is closed even though lamp voltage is reduced, in that lamp 31 is in a substantially enclosed region that does not have the extensive opening that is present when shutter 33, 34 is open.

Cooling plate 21 is preferably water-cooled, and is positioned so as to shield the other elements of apparatus 10 from the rays of radiant energy source 25. This is particularly important in a sheet printing machine, as shown, rather than in a web machine, because of the fact that there are extensive spaces between adjacent sheets. In the absence of cooling plate 21, such spaces between sheets 15 would permit rays from energy source 25 to impinge upon and heat other elements of apparatus 10, either to the point of destruction or to a point where they become so hot that contact by sheet 15 would be sufficient to cause a fire.

Although there have been described preferred embodiments of this novel invention, many variations and modifications will now be apparent to those skilled in the art. Therefore, this invention is to be limited not by the specific disclosure herein but only by the appending claims.

The embodiments of the invention in which an exclusive privilege or property is claimed are defined as follows.

1. Apparatus including curing means for solvent-free coating and printing material, said curing means including radiant energy means, and conveyor means for moving work to which said material is applied along a feed path in front of said radiant energy means, whereby radiation therefrom impinges on said work and cures the material thereon; said radiant energy means comprising a plurality of sections each including an ultraviolet-producing lamp and a reflector means to direct radiation from said lamp toward said feed path and cooling means for generating air flow along said reflector means to cool the latter without appreciably cooling said lamp.

2. Apparatus including curing means for solvent-free coating and printing material, said curing means including radiant energy means, and conveyor means for moving work to which said material is applied along a feed path in front of said radiant energy means,

whereby radiation therefrom impingesori"said"work" and cures the material thereon; said radiant energy means comprising a plurality of sections each including a lamp; a reflector means to direct radiation from said lamp toward said feed path; cooling means for generating air flow along said reflector means to cool the latter without appreciably cooling said lamp; and a shutter means operable to a closed position to block radiation from reaching said feed path, operating means to open and close said shutter means, second control means to automatically coordinate operation of said cooling means and said shutter means, whereby upon closing of said shutter means said air flow is increased.

3. Apparatus including curing means for solvent-free coating and printing material, said curing means including radiant energy means, and conveyor means for moving work to which said material is applied along a feed path in front of said radiant energy means, whereby radiation therefrom impinges on said work and cures the material thereon; said radiant energy means comprising a plurality of sections each including a lamp and a reflector means to direct radiation from said lamp toward said feed path and cooling means for generating air flow along said reflector means to cool the latter without appreciably cooling said lamp, said reflector means including an elongated housing and an elongated reflector sheet secured thereto in a manner to permit relative movement therebetween thereby accommodating for differential expansions; said housing being constructed to direct said air flow.

4. Apparatus as set forth in claim 3 in which the housing is constructed of much stronger material than said reflector sheet.

5. Apparatus as set forth in claim 4 in which the reflector sheet is constructed of material having generally the oxidation-resisting and reflecting properties of Lurium.

6. Apparatus including curing means for solvent-free coating and printing material, said curing means including radiant energy means, and conveyor means for moving work to which said material is applied along a feed path in front of said radiant energy means, whereby radiation therefrom impingeson said work and cures the material thereon; said radiant energy means comprising a plurality of sections each including a lamp and a reflector means to direct radiation from said lamp toward said feed path and cooling means for generating air flow along said reflector means to cool the latter without appreciably cooling said lamp, said lamp including an elongated envelope; and additional reflectors at each end of said reflector means to reduce end spill of radiation from said lamp and to shieldthe ends of said envelope from excessive heating by lampproduced radiation.

7. Apparatus including curing means for solvent-free coating and printing material, said curing means including radiant energy means, and conveyor means for .moving work to which said material is applied along a a lamp and a reflector means to direct radiation from said lamp toward said feed path and cooling means for generating air flow along said reflector means to cool the latter without appreciably cooling said lamp, said lamp including an elongated envelope; sockets removably mounting said lamp and positioned at opposite ends thereof; and means repositionably mounting said sockets relative to said reflector means so that an electric current are in said envelope is properly positioned with respect to said reflector means for different positions thereof relative to earth.

8. Apparatus as set forth in claim 7 in which the reflector means includes an elongated housing constructed to direct said air flow; said sockets being secured to said housing; additional reflectors at each end of said envelope to reduce end spill of radiation from said lamp and to shield said sockets from excessive heating by lamp produced radiation.

9. Apparatus as set forth in claim 8 in which the additional reflectors cooperate with portions of said housing to define chambers wherein said sockets are disposed; said air flow being through said chambers to cool said sockets.

10. Apparatus including curing means for solventfree coating and printing material, said curing means including radiant energy means, and conveyor means for moving work to which said material is applied along a feed path in front of said radiant energy means, whereby radiation therefrom impinges on said work and cures the material thereon; said radiant energy means comprising a plurality of sections each including a lamp and a reflector means to direct radiation from said lamp toward said feed path and cooling means for generating air flow along said reflector means to cool the latter without appreciably cooling said lamp, said reflector means including an elongated housing and an elongated concave reflector sheet secured to said housing; said housing having a plurality of inlet openings p0- sitioned adjacent the long edges of said reflector sheet to facilitate clearing ozone from the area inside said reflector sheet.

11. Apparatus including curing means for solventfree coating and printing material, said curing means including radiant energy means, and conveyor means for moving work to which said material is applied along a feed path in front of said radiant energy means, whereby radiation therefrom impinges on. said work and cures the material thereon; said radiant energy means comprising a plurality of sections each including a lamp and a reflector means to direct radiation from said lamp toward said feed path and cooling means for generating air flow along said reflector means to cool the latter without appreciably cooling said lamp, said reflector means being an elongated hood-like member of elliptical cross-section.

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Classifications
U.S. Classification34/277, 432/230, 250/505.1, 250/504.00R, 432/233, 392/421
International ClassificationB41F23/00, B41F23/04
Cooperative ClassificationB41F23/04
European ClassificationB41F23/04