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A Coupled Thermal-Structural Nip Analysis of Thermal Dye Transfer Printing

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A coupled two-dimensional thermal-structural nip analysis using a commercially available finite element package, i.e., ABAQUS, has been developed to simulate the thermal dye transfer (TDT) printing process. Incorporating all key components in the thermal printing process, this simulation model includes a simplified printhead, the layered structure of a thermal media pair, i.e., dye donor ribbon and receiver, and the elastomer-covered platen roller. The unique feature in this simulation is its capability of simultaneously solving the structural and contact mechanism of the approaching surfaces during thermal printing and calculating the heat transfer through these interfacial contacts.

During the simulation, the model mimics the movement of the dye donor ribbon and receiver, which are brought into intimate contact between the printhead and the platen roller. Thermal energy or heat generated by pulsing the heating elements in the printhead flows through the media and across interfacial contact pairs, e.g., printhead and dye donor ribbon, and dye donor ribbon and receiver (where the dye diffusion occurs). The contact area and contact pressure at the interfaces, temperature distribution, thermal history, and stress-strain state are all calculated for each component. The model has been successfully implemented to investigate the effects of platen rollers, to study the media and equipment interactions, and to help identify essential material properties for media design.

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: January 1, 2006

More about this publication?
  • For more than 25 years, NIP has been the leading forum for discussion of advances and new directions in non-impact and digital printing technologies. A comprehensive, industry-wide conference, this meeting includes all aspects of the hardware, materials, software, images, and applications associated with digital printing systems, including drop-on-demand ink jet, wide format ink jet, desktop and continuous ink jet, toner-based electrophotographic printers, production digital printing systems, and thermal printing systems, as well as the engineering capability, optimization, and science involved in these fields.

    Since 2005, NIP has been held in conjunction with the Digital Fabrication Conference.

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