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1. WO2011002105 - FIXING SOLUTION, FIXING METHOD, FIXING DEVICE, IMAGE FORMING METHOD AND IMAGE FORMING APPARATUS

Note: Text based on automatic Optical Character Recognition processes. Please use the PDF version for legal matters

[ EN ]

CLAIMS

1. A fixing solution for fixing fine resin particles to a recording medium, the fixing solution comprising:

a diluent which contains water,'

a foaming agent which allows the fixing solution to be in the form of foam! and

plasticizers which soften or swell at least part of the fine resin particles,

wherein the plasticizers contain a liquid plasticizer which is liquid at normal temperature and soluble in the diluent, and a solid plasticizer which is solid at normal temperature and soluble in the diluent.

2. The fixing solution according to claim 1, wherein the solid plasticizer contains a functional group which has an affinity for the fine resin particles.

3. The fixing solution according to claim 1 or 2, wherein the solid plasticizer is a compound which contains at least one of an ethylene oxide group and a propylene oxide group.

4. The fixing solution according to claim 3, wherein the compound which contains the ethylene oxide group is any one of the compounds represented by General Formulae (l) to (5) below-

HO-(CH2CH2θ)n -H (1) where n denotes an integer of 10 to 100,

HO- (CH2CH2θ)n (CH (CH3) CH2θ)m-H (2) where n denotes an integer of 10 to 200, and m denotes an integer of 5 to 50,

R-O- (CH2CH2θ)n-H (3) where n denotes an integer of 10 to 100,

R-COO- (CH2CH2θ)n -H (4) where R denotes a C10-C22 straight-chain or branched alkyl group, and n denotes an integer of 10 to 100,

R-COO- (CH2CH2θ)n -CO-R' (5)

where R and R' each independently denote a C10-C22 straight-chain or branched alkyl group, and n denotes an integer of 10 to 100.

5. The fixing solution according to claim 4, wherein the compound is polyethylene glycol which has a weight average molecular weight of 2,000 to 10,000.

6. The fixing solution according to any one of claims 1 to 5, wherein the liquid plasticizer contains an aliphatic ester.

7 The fixing solution according to claim 6, wherein the aliphatic ester is a saturated aliphatic ester.

8. A fixing method comprising:

rendering the fixing solution according to any one of claims 1 to 7 into the form of foam so as to produce a foamy fixing solution,'

adjusting the thickness of a layer of the foamy fixing solution such that the layer having a desired thickness forms over a contact surface of a foamy fixing solution providing unit; and

providing the formed layer of the foamy fixing solution having the desired thickness to a fine resin particle layer on a medium.

9. A fixing device comprising:

a foamy fixing solution producing unit configured to render the fixing solution according to any one of claims 1 to 7 into the form of foam so as to produce a foamy fixing solution!

a foamy fixing solution providing unit configured to

provide the foamy fixing solution to a fine resin particle layer on a medium," and

a layer thickness adjusting unit configured to adjust the thickness of a layer of the foamy fixing solution on the foamy fixing solution providing unit.

10. An image forming method comprising:

forming a latent electrostatic image on a latent

electrostatic image bearing member;

developing the latent electrostatic image with the use of a developer including a toner which contains fine resin particles so as to form a visible image;

transferring the visible image to a recording medium; and fixing the transferred image to the recording medium, wherein the fixing is performed by the fixing method according to claim 8.

11. An image forming apparatus comprising:

a latent electrostatic image bearing member;

a latent electrostatic image forming unit configured to form a latent electrostatic image on the latent electrostatic image bearing member,

a developing unit configured to develop the latent electrostatic image with the use of a developer including a toner which contains fine resin particles so as to form a visible image; a transfer unit configured to transfer the visible image to a recording medium; and

a fixing unit configured to fix the transferred image to the recording medium,

wherein the fixing unit is the fixing device according to claim 9.