Wednesday, December 16, 2009
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Inkjet Cartridge Clip 101
Inkjet cartridge transportation “clips” or cartridge “carriers” are used for sealing the cartridge print-head/nozzle-plate to prevent it from leaking before being inserted into a printer.
Typically a cartridge clip is a thermo-formed ABS plastic with a film-covered flexible pad for sealing the cartridge print-head.
A great sealing clip/pad combination can properly seal the cartridge print-head and extend the shelf-life of a cartridge for up to a year.
- The pad is the critical component of the clip. Clips with poor sealing characteristics can cause colors to contaminate or the cartridge could leak.
- Allowing color cartridges to set clipped after filling increases risk of color contamination—(remove them immediately if deep-vacuum refilling with clip on)
- Nozzle Plates should always be clean and dry prior to clipping (no lint or filaments)
- Reusing clips multiple times with nozzle plate imprints increases the risk of color contamination—it is recommended to use virgin clips for final sealing
- Pad Creep is what happens when a pad shifts under the pressure of an inserted cartridge. Pad creep generally occurs because of poor clip design, weak pressure-sensitive adhesive, high temperatures, and/ or cartridge movement while inserted in the clip.
Things to Look for in a Clip
- Clip geometry should include a sealing surface that is parallel to the cartridge’s nozzle plate
- Locking features (2) that control Pad creep and keeps the Cartridge in place for shipping
- Closed sides to distribute clamping forces equally on the Cartridge’s nozzle plate
- Snapping feature designed for “ease of use”
- Sealing surface of the Pad should have the same properties as Blue Sealing Tape
- Pad should only cover the cartridge’s nozzle plate
- Acrylic PSA should be used to apply Pad to Clip
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