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What are Inkjet Dryers?

Malcolm Tatum
Updated May 17, 2024
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Many people own inkjet printers of varying sizes. Some of these inkjet printers are tabletop models that are used in home offices. In other instances, large-scale printers that utilize inkjet technology are used to create wall sized maps and other documents that are simply too large for a standard printer to handle. One of the most important components with these types of printers is the inkjet dryer. The main function of the inkjet dryer is to ensure that the ink on the finished document is perfectly dry, and will not run or smudge during routine use. Here is some background on how inkjet dryers work, and why they are important to the function of printing.

Inkjet dryers operate on a very simple premise. Documents created with an inkjet method or printing normally follow a pattern of ink being injected onto a medium, based on a pattern that is captured on the drums of the printer. Before the document can be considered finished, the ink must be dried. Unless the ink is dried properly, the document is easily smudged, the characters created by the ink may run, and the document will be worthless. Inkjet dryers quickly and effectively dry the ink on the document, ensuring that the ink adheres to the paper. The ink will not run, smudge or in any way be damaged during routine use

of the document.

Most inkjet dryers make use of infrared light to dry the ink. Smaller desktop printers may use simple bulb as the drying agent. With this design, the inkjet dryers kick into operation as the printer begins to process the print job. By the time the document is loaded with ink, the bulb is producing enough heat and light to seal the ink to the pages of the document. The same principle is used with inkjet dryers that are made for larger printing facilities. Infrared light and heat are still the main agent of the inkjet dryers; the difference is in how many infrared lights are used in the ink dryers for these larger pieces of machinery.

Often, the bulbs within the inkjet dryers will have some sort of support mechanisms that allow the infrared light to be directed toward the document, rather than a simple scatter effect. This helps to cut down on the time that it takes the document to process all the way through the machine. That in turn means the infrared bulbs in inkjet dryers do not have to remain active for a longer period of time. Shorter times to produce the desired effect translate into longer lives for the bulbs that form an essential part of inkjet dryers.

Inkjet dryers of all sizes are available, including some models that actually operate outside the printing portion of a large-scale industrial copy machine or printer. With relatively few moving parts and little to no maintenance required, inkjet dyers can last for a number of years before replacements are needed.

WiseGeek is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Malcolm Tatum
By Malcolm Tatum
Malcolm Tatum, a former teleconferencing industry professional, followed his passion for trivia, research, and writing to become a full-time freelance writer. He has contributed articles to a variety of print and online publications, including WiseGeek, and his work has also been featured in poetry collections, devotional anthologies, and newspapers. When not writing, Malcolm enjoys collecting vinyl records, following minor league baseball, and cycling.
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Malcolm Tatum
Malcolm Tatum
Malcolm Tatum, a former teleconferencing industry professional, followed his passion for trivia, research, and writing...
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