(19)
(11)EP 3 579 054 A1

(12)EUROPEAN PATENT APPLICATION
published in accordance with Art. 153(4) EPC

(43)Date of publication:
11.12.2019 Bulletin 2019/50

(21)Application number: 17894728.9

(22)Date of filing:  22.06.2017
(51)International Patent Classification (IPC): 
G03G 15/08(2006.01)
(86)International application number:
PCT/JP2017/023027
(87)International publication number:
WO 2018/142641 (09.08.2018 Gazette  2018/32)
(84)Designated Contracting States:
AL AT BE BG CH CY CZ DE DK EE ES FI FR GB GR HR HU IE IS IT LI LT LU LV MC MK MT NL NO PL PT RO RS SE SI SK SM TR
Designated Extension States:
BA ME
Designated Validation States:
MA MD

(30)Priority: 31.01.2017 JP 2017015177

(71)Applicant: Brother Kogyo Kabushiki Kaisha
Nagoya-shi, Aichi 467-8561 (JP)

(72)Inventors:
  • FUKAYA Atsushi
    Nagoya-shi Aichi 467-8561 (JP)
  • ICHIKAWA Tomoya
    Nagoya-shi Aichi 467-8561 (JP)
  • ABE Koji
    Nagoya-shi Aichi 467-8561 (JP)
  • KAMIMURA Naoya
    Nagoya-shi Aichi 467-8561 (JP)

(74)Representative: Kuhnen & Wacker Patent- und Rechtsanwaltsbüro PartG mbB 
Prinz-Ludwig-Straße 40A
85354 Freising
85354 Freising (DE)

  


(54)DEVELOPER CARTRIDGE


(57) A developing cartridge 1 includes: a casing 11 configured to accommodate therein toner; a developing roller 12; a supply roller 13 configured to supply the toner to the developing roller 12; a layer thickness regulation blade 20 in contact with a circumferential surface of the developing roller 12; a developing electrode 30 electrically connected to the developing roller 12; and a supply electrode 100 electrically connected to the supply roller 13 and the layer thickness regulation blade 20. The supply electrode 100 includes: an electrode member 40 electrically connected to a rotation shaft (a shaft 13A) of the supply roller 13 and movable in a direction perpendicular to the rotation shaft of the supply roller 13; and a connection member (a spring 50) electrically connecting the electrode member 40 and the layer thickness regulation blade 20. The electrode member 40 is movable relative to the connection member in the direction perpendicular to the rotation shaft of the supply roller 13 in a state where the electrode member 40 is in contact with the connection member.




Description

[Technical Field]



[0001] The present invention relates to a developing cartridge including a developing roller, a supply roller, and a layer thickness regulation blade.

[Background Art]



[0002] Conventionally, there is known a developing cartridge including a developing roller, a supply roller configured to supply toner to the developing roller, a layer thickness regulation blade configured to regulate a thickness of a toner layer formed on the developing roller, and a supply electrode in contact with the supply roller (see Patent Literature 1). Specifically, in this technology, the supply electrode is movable in a direction perpendicular to a rotation shaft of the supply roller.

[Citation List]


[Patent Literature]



[0003] [PTL1]
Japanese Patent Application Publication No. 2015-129808

[Summary of Invention]


[Technical Problem]



[0004] In the conventional developing cartridge, it is desirable that voltage is applied to the layer thickness regulation blade.

[0005] Thus, an object of the present invention is to provide a developing cartridge in which electric power can be satisfactorily supplied to the layer thickness regulation blade.

[Solution to Problem]



[0006] In order to attain the object, a developing cartridge according to the present invention includes a casing, a developing roller, a supply roller, a layer thickness regulation blade, a developing electrode, and a supply electrode. The casing is configured to accommodate therein toner. The supply roller is configured to supply the toner to the developing roller. The layer thickness regulation blade is in contact with a circumferential surface of the developing roller. The developing electrode is electrically connected to the developing roller. The supply electrode is electrically connected to the supply roller and the layer thickness regulation blade. The supply electrode includes an electrode member and a connection member. The electrode member is electrically connected to a rotation shaft of the supply roller and is movable in a direction perpendicular to the rotation shaft of the supply roller. The connection member electrically connects the electrode member and the layer thickness regulation blade and is in contact with the electrode member and the layer thickness regulation blade. The electrode member is movable relative to the connection member in the direction perpendicular to the rotation shaft of the supply roller in a state where the electrode member is in contact with the connection member.

[0007] With this structure, voltage can be applied to the layer thickness regulation blade through the electrode member in spite of the fact that a structure in which the electrode member is movable is employed for ensuring electrical connection between the supply roller and the electrode member.

[0008] In the above developing cartridge, it is preferable that the connection member is a spring.

[0009] In the above developing cartridge, it is preferable that the spring includes a coil portion and an arm portion. The coil portion extends in an axial direction of the supply roller. The arm portion has a line shape extending from the coil portion toward the layer thickness regulation blade and is in contact with the layer thickness regulation blade.

[0010] In the above developing cartridge, it is preferable that: the electrode member includes a base having a hole for fixing the electrode member to the casing; and the coil portion is positioned between the base and the casing and is in contact with the base.

[0011] With this structure, the coil portion can be caused to satisfactorily contact with the base because the coil portion is positioned between the base and the casing.

[0012]  In the above developing cartridge, it is preferable that: the casing includes a boss to which a screw is fixed, the boss being inserted through the hole of the base; and the coil portion is supported by the boss.

[0013] With this structure, the spring can be favorably fixed at a position with respect to the casing because the coil portion is supported by the boss.

[0014] In the above developing cartridge, it is preferable that the developing electrode is fixed to the boss by the screw.

[0015] In the above developing cartridge, it is preferable that the arm portion includes a nipping portion. The nipping portion nips a part of the casing and the layer thickness regulation blade.

[0016] With this structure, a good contact state between the spring and the layer thickness regulation blade can be maintained because the nipping portion nips the part of the casing and the layer thickness regulation blade.

[0017] In the above developing cartridge, it is preferable that: the layer thickness regulation blade includes a blade and a support member supporting the blade; and the arm portion is in contact with the blade. The blade is in contact with the circumferential surface of the developing roller.

[0018] With this structure, electric power can be satisfactorily supplied to the blade because the supply electrode is electrically connected to the blade without intervention of the support member.

[0019] In the above developing cartridge, it is preferable that the spring is positioned between the casing and the base.

[0020] With this structure, the spring can be caused to satisfactorily contact with the base because the spring is positioned between the base and the casing.

[0021]  In the above developing cartridge, it is preferable that the electrode member includes a first portion and a second portion; and the base connects the first portion and the second portion. The first portion is in contact with the supply roller. The second portion is positioned at a position different from a position of the first portion and is capable of contacting with an external electrode.

[0022] In the above developing cartridge, it is preferable that the connection member includes a plate portion fixed to the casing together with the support portion by a screw.

[0023] With this structure, because the connection member and the support member can be co-fastened to the casing, the connection member can be caused to satisfactorily contact with the layer thickness regulation blade by the fastening force of the co-fastening.

[0024] In the above developing cartridge, it is preferable that the connection member is made of electrically conductive resin.

[0025] In the above developing cartridge, it is preferable that the connection member is made of metal.

[0026] In the above developing cartridge, it is preferable that the casing has a cam surface for moving the supply electrode in a direction perpendicular to the rotation shaft of the supply roller.

[0027] In the above developing cartridge, it is preferable that the support member has a through-hole through which a screw is inserted.

[Advantageous Effects of Invention]



[0028] According to the present invention, electric power can be satisfactorily supplied to the layer thickness regulation blade.

[Brief Description of Drawings]



[0029] 

[Fig. 1]
Fig. 1 is a perspective view of a developing cartridge according to one embodiment of the present invention.

[Fig. 2]
Fig. 2 is an exploded perspective view illustrating a developing electrode, a supply electrode, and other components.

[Fig. 3]
Fig. 3 is a cross-sectional view illustrating a spring, a casing, a support member, and a blade.

[Fig. 4]
Fig. 4 is a view illustrating a relationship between a contact portion of the spring and the blade.

[Fig. 5]
Fig. 5A is a view illustrating an electrode member as viewed from the casing. Fig. 5B is a view illustrating a relationship between a cam surface of the casing and a cam surface of the electrode member.

[Fig. 6]
Fig. 6 is an exploded perspective view illustrating a supply electrode according to one modification.

[Fig. 7]
Fig. 7 is a perspective view illustrating a state where the supply electrode according to the modification is assembled to the casing.


[Description of Embodiments]



[0030] An embodiment of the present invention will next be described in detail while referring to the accompanying drawings.

[0031] As illustrated in Fig. 1, a developing cartridge 1 includes a casing 11, a developing roller 12, a supply roller 13 (see Fig. 2), a handgrip 14, a layer thickness regulation blade 20, a developing electrode 30, a supply electrode 100, and a bearing 60. The supply electrode 100 is a member electrically connected to the supply roller 13 and the layer thickness regulation blade 20. The supply electrode 100 includes an electrode member 40 and a spring 50.

[0032]  The casing 11 accommodates therein toner. The casing 11 is made of non-conductive resin. The casing 11 includes a side wall 15. The side wall 15 is positioned at one end of the developing roller 12.

[0033] The developing roller 12 is a roller configured to supply toner to an electrostatic latent image formed on a photosensitive body (not illustrated). The developing roller 12 is rotatable about a first axis X1 extending in an axial direction. The developing roller 12 includes a shaft 12A (see Fig. 2) extending in the axial direction. The developing roller 12 is positioned at one end 11A of the casing 11.

[0034] As illustrated in Fig. 2, the supply roller 13 is a roller configured to supply toner to the developing roller 12. The supply roller 13 is rotatable about a second axis X2 extending in the axial direction. The supply roller 13 includes a shaft 13A extending in the axial direction. The supply roller 13 is in contact with the developing roller 12.

[0035] Turning back to Fig. 1, the handgrip 14 is a portion configured to be gripped by a user. The handgrip 14 is positioned at the other end 11B of the casing 11.

[0036] The layer thickness regulation blade 20 is a member configured to regulate a thickness of a toner layer formed on the developing roller 12. The layer thickness regulation blade 20 includes a blade 21 and a support member 22 supporting the blade 21.

[0037] The blade 21 is a rectangular metal plate extending in the axial direction. The blade 21 is made of metal such as stainless steel. The blade 21 has a thickness smaller than that of the support member. One end of the blade 21 in the short direction thereof is fixed to the support member 22 by welding, etc. The other end of the blade 21 in the short direction thereof is in contact with a circumferential surface of the developing roller 12.

[0038] Incidentally, a rubber member may be provided at the other end in the short direction of the blade 21. In this case, the rubber member of the blade 21 may be in contact with the developing roller 12.

[0039]  The support member 22 is made of metal such as an electro galvanized steel plate. The support member 22 includes a first wall 22A and a second wall 22B. The first wall 22A supports a surface of the blade 21 which is opposite to a surface of the blade 21 facing the developing roller 12. The second wall 22B is positioned at one end portion of the first wall 22A which is farther from the developing roller 12 than the other end portion of the first wall 22A is from the developing roller 12. The second wall 22B extends from the first wall 22A in a direction away from the blade 21.

[0040] The first wall 22A includes two protruding portions 22C. Each protruding portion 22C protrudes further in a direction away from the developing roller 12 than the second wall 22B. The second wall 22B is positioned between the two protruding portions 22C in the axial direction. Each protruding portion 22C has a through-hole 22D through which a first screw S1 (only one screw is depicted) is inserted. Each protruding portion 22C is fastened to the casing 11 by the corresponding first screw S1.

[0041] As illustrated in Fig. 2, the casing 11 includes a fixing wall 16 to which the protruding portion 22C is fixed. The side wall 15 has an opening 15A extending therethrough in the leftward/rightward direction. The opening 15A is overlapped with the fixing wall 16 and the protruding portion 22C as viewed in the axial direction. A part of the opening 15A is positioned closer to the one end 11A of the casing 11 than the protruding portion 22C is to the one end 11A. With this configuration, by inserting a contact portion 53D (described later) of the spring 50 through the opening 15A, the contact portion 53D can be inserted toward the blade 21 further than the side wall 15.

[0042] The casing 11 has a boss 17. The boss 17 has a tip end to which a second screw S2 is fixed for co-fastening the electrode member 40, the bearing 60, and the developing electrode 30. The casing 11 includes a protruding portion 18 protruding from the side wall 15 toward the electrode member 40. The protruding portion 18 has a cam surface 18A. The cam surface 18A is a surface for moving the electrode member 40 in a direction perpendicular to the second axis X2. The cam surface 18A is inclined so as to approach the side wall 15 with increasing distance from the second axis X2.

[0043]  The developing electrode 30 is a member electrically connected to the shaft 12A of the developing roller 12. The developing electrode 30 is made of electrically conductive resin. The developing electrode 30 includes a first contact portion 31 and a cover portion 32, and has an attachment hole 33.

[0044] The first contact portion 31 is a surface configured to contact with a first main body side electrode in the axial direction in a state where the developing cartridge 1 is attached to a main body casing of an image forming apparatus (not illustrated). The first main body side electrode is provided at the main body casing. The first contact portion 31 is perpendicular to the axial direction. The first contact portion 31 is positioned at a position different from the position of the shaft 12A of the developing roller 12.

[0045] The cover portion 32 is formed in a generally hollow cylindrical shape so as to cover a circumferential surface of the shaft 12A of the developing roller 12. The inner circumferential surface of the cover portion 32 is in contact with the shaft 12A of the developing roller 12.

[0046] The attachment hole 33 is a hole through which the second screw S2 is inserted. The attachment hole 33 faces the boss 17 of the casing 11 in the axial direction. The developing electrode 30 is fixed to the boss 17 by the second screw S2.

[0047] The bearing 60 is made of non-conductive resin. The bearing 60 includes a base portion 60A, a first support portion 61, a second support portion 62, a first protruding portion 65, and a second protruding portion 66, and has a through-hole 63. The base portion 60A is formed in a flat plate shape perpendicular to the axial direction. The bearing 60 is positioned between the developing electrode 30 and the electrode member 40 in the axial direction.

[0048] The first support portion 61 is formed in a hollow cylindrical shape protruding from the base portion 60A toward the casing 11. The inner circumferential surface of the first support portion 61 supports the shaft 12A of the developing roller 12.

[0049]  The second support portion 62 includes: a hollow cylindrical portion protruding from the base portion 60A in a direction away from the casing 11; and a bottom portion closing the opening of the tip end of the hollow cylindrical portion. The inner circumferential surface of the second support portion 62 supports the shaft 13A of the supply roller 13.

[0050] The through-hole 63 is a circular through-hole through which the boss 17 of the casing 11 is inserted. The through-hole 63 is positioned at a position facing the boss 17 in the axial direction.

[0051] The first protruding portion 65 and the second protruding portion 66 protrude from the base portion 60A in a direction away from the casing 11. The first protruding portion 65 is positioned adjacent to a first side 41A of a second contact portion 41 (described later) of the electrode member 40. The second protruding portion 66 is positioned adjacent to a second side 41B of the second contact portion 41, the second side 41B being perpendicular to the first side 41A.

[0052] The electrode member 40 is a member electrically connected to the shaft 13A that is a rotation shaft of the supply roller 13. The electrode member 40 is made of electrically conductive resin. The electrode member 40 includes a base 40A, a first portion 42, and a second portion 44. The electrode member 40 is movable in a direction perpendicular to the shaft 13A of the supply roller 13.

[0053] The base 40A is formed in a flat plate shape perpendicular to the axial direction. The base 40A has a hole 43. The base 40A connects the first portion 42 and the second portion 44. The base 40A is positioned between the bearing 60 and the casing 11 in the axial direction.

[0054] The hole 43 is a hole for fixing the electrode member 40 to the casing 11. The boss 17 of the casing 11 is inserted through the hole 43. The diameter of the hole 43 is greater than the outer diameter of the boss 17. A rib 45 protruding from the base 40A in a direction away from the casing 11 is formed at the periphery of the hole 43. The rib 45 is formed in a generally arcuate shape as viewed in the axial direction.

[0055]  The first portion 42 is formed in a hollow cylindrical shape protruding from the base 40A toward the casing 11. The inner circumferential surface of the first portion 42 is in contact with the shaft 13A of the supply roller 13.

[0056] The second portion 44 is positioned at a position different from the position of the first portion 42. The second portion 44 protrudes from the base 40A in a direction away from the casing 11. The end surface of the second portion 44 serves as the second contact portion 41. The second contact portion 41 is a surface configured to contact with a second main body side electrode in the axial direction in a state where the developing cartridge 1 is attached to the main body casing of the image forming apparatus (not illustrated). The second main body side electrode is provided at the main body casing. That is, the second portion 44 is in contact with the second main body side electrode that is an external electrode.

[0057] The second contact portion 41 has a rectangular shape as viewed in the axial direction. The second contact portion 41 is perpendicular to the axial direction. The second contact portion 41 is positioned at a position different from the position of the shaft 13A of the supply roller 13. Specifically, the second contact portion 41 is positioned at a position opposite to the first portion 42 with respect to the hole 43.

[0058] The electrode member 40 is connected to the blade 21 through the spring 50. That is, the electrode member 40 is electrically connected to the blade 21 through a member other than the support member 22. The electrode member 40 is movable relative to the spring 50 in a direction perpendicular to the shaft 13A of the supply roller 13 in a state where the electrode member 40 is in contact with the spring 50.

[0059] The spring 50 is a member for electrically connecting the base 40A of the electrode member 40 and the blade 21. The spring 50 is made of metal. The spring 50 includes a coil portion 51, an arm portion 52 and a nipping portion 53. As illustrated in Fig. 3, the coil portion 51 extends in the axial direction of the supply roller 13. The coil portion 51 is positioned between the base 40A and the casing 11. That is, the spring 50 is positioned between the base 40A and the casing 11. The coil portion 51 is in contact with the base 40A and the casing 11. The coil portion 51 is compressed from its natural length in a state where the electrode member 40 is assembled to the casing 11.

[0060] In the state where the electrode member 40 is assembled to the casing 11, the boss 17 is inserted in the coil portion 51. Hence, the coil portion 51 is supported by the outer circumferential surface of the boss 17.

[0061] Turning back to Fig. 2, the arm portion 52 is formed in a line shape. The arm portion 52 extends toward the blade 21 from one end portion of the coil portion 51 which is closer to the casing 11 than the other end portion of the coil portion 51 is to the casing 11. Specifically, the arm portion 52 extends outward in the radial direction of the coil portion 51 from the one end portion of the coil portion 51. More specifically, the arm portion 52 extends from the coil portion 51 toward the one end 11A of the casing 11. The arm portion 52 includes the nipping portion 53. The nipping portion 53 nips and supports the blade 21 and the fixing wall 16 which is a part of the casing 11. The nipping portion 53 is provided at a distal end of the arm portion 52.

[0062] As illustrated in Fig. 3, the nipping portion 53 nips the fixing wall 16, the support member 22, and the blade 21 together to support them. The nipping portion 53 has a U-shape as viewed in a direction which is perpendicular to both the axial direction and a direction perpendicular to a surface of the blade 21. Here, this surface of the blade 21 is the opposite surface to the surface of the blade 21 facing the support member 22.

[0063] The nipping portion 53 mainly includes a first part 53A, a second part 53B, a third part 53C, and the contact portion 53D. The first part 53A extends in the axial direction. The first part 53A is in contact with the fixing wall 16.

[0064] The second part 53B extend toward the one end 11A (see Fig. 2) of the casing 11 from one end portion of the first part 53A which is farther from the casing 11 than the other end portion of the first part 53A is from the casing 11. The second part 53B is positioned spaced away from the fixing wall 16, the support member 22 and the blade 21 in the axial direction.

[0065]  The third part 53C extends toward the blade 21 from one end portion of the second part 53B which is farther from the first part 53A than the other end portion of the second part 53B is from the first part 53A. The third part 53C is inclined with respect to the surface of the blade 21. Specifically, the third part 53C is inclined so as to approach the first part 53A with decreasing distance in the axial direction between the third part 53C and the blade 21.

[0066] The contact portion 53D is a portion which is in contact with the surface of the blade 21. The contact portion 53D is provided at one end portion of the third part 53C which is closer to the blade 21 than the other end portion of the third part 53C is to the blade 21.

[0067] As illustrated in Fig. 4, the contact portion 53D is formed in a U-shape as viewed in a direction perpendicular to the surface of the blade 21. Specifically, the contact portion 53D has a U-shape which opens toward the side wall 15 of the casing 11. The contact portion 53D extends toward the developing roller 12 from the third part 53C as viewed in a direction perpendicular to the surface of the blade 21.

[0068] A fourth part 54E is provided at one end portion of the contact portion 53D which is farther from the third part 53C than the other end portion of the contact portion 53D is from the third part 53C. The fourth part 53E is inclined so as to approach the third part 53C as the fourth part 53E advances toward the side wall 15 from the contact portion 53D.

[0069] As illustrated in Figs. 5A and 5B, the second portion 44 is formed in a box shape which opens toward the casing 11. The second portion 44 has a bottom surface 44A. The second portion 44 includes a rib 46 protruding toward the casing 11 from the bottom surface 44A.

[0070] The rib 46 extends along a diagonal line of the rectangular second contact portion 41. The rib 46 intersects the protruding portion 18 (see Fig. 2) of the casing 11 as viewed in the axial direction. The rib 46 has an end surface functioning as a cam surface 46A in conformance with the cam surface 18A of the protruding portion 18 of the casing 11. That is, the cam surface 46A is inclined so as to approach the casing 11 with increasing distance from the second axis X2.

[0071] Incidentally, the electrode member 40 is urged toward the bearing 60 by the spring 50. Thus, the surface of the electrode member 40 which faces the casing 11 is spaced away from the side wall 15.

[0072] Next, functions and effects of each member in accordance with attachment of the developing cartridge 1 to the main body casing will be described.
As a result of attachment of the developing cartridge 1 illustrated in Fig. 1 to the main body casing, the first main body side electrode is brought into contact with the first contact portion 31 of the developing electrode 30 in the axial direction, and the second main body side electrode is brought into contact with the second contact portion 41 of the electrode member 40 in the axial direction. Here, each of the first main body side electrode and the second main body side electrode has a spring. Hence, the second main body side electrode urges the electrode member 40 toward the casing 11.

[0073] As a result of the electrode member 40 being urged toward the developing cartridge 1, the cam surface 46A of the rib 46 is pressed against the cam surface 18A of the casing 11 as illustrated in Fig. 5B. Hence, as illustrated in Fig. 3, the electrode member 40 is pressed in a direction away from the second axis X2 by the cam surface 18A of the casing 11. Thus, the first portion 42 of the electrode member 40 can be caused to satisfactorily contact with the shaft 13A of the supply roller 13.

[0074] When performing printing control, a control device provided in the main body casing supplies electric power to the developing roller 12, the supply roller 13, and the blade 21. Specifically, the control device supplies electric power to the shaft 12A of the developing roller 12 through the developing electrode 30. Moreover, the control device supplies electric power to the shaft 13A of the supply roller 13 through the electrode member 40. Furthermore, the control device supplies electric power to the blade 21 through both the electrode member 40 and the spring 50.

[0075] According to the present embodiment, the following effects can be obtained in addition to the above-described effects.
Since the supply electrode 100 is connected to the blade 21 without intervention of the support member 22, electric power can be satisfactorily supplied to the blade 21 in comparison with a connection configuration with intervention of the support member 22 whose electrical conductivity has been lowered due to surface treatment.

[0076] Since the spring 50 is interposed between the base 40A of the electrode member 40 and the casing 11, a good contact state between the spring 50 and the base 40A can be maintained.

[0077] The position of the spring 50 can be favorably fixed relative to the casing 11 since the coil portion 51 of the spring 50 is supported by the outer circumferential surface of the boss 17.

[0078] Because the fixing wall 16 and the blade 21 are nipped by the nipping portion 53 of the spring 50, a good contact state between the spring 50 and the blade 21 can be maintained.

[0079] Note that the present invention is not limited to the above-described embodiment and various embodiments are conceivable. In the following description, like parts and components are designated by the same reference numerals as those shown in the above-described embodiment to avoid duplicating description.

[0080] In the above-described embodiment, the electrode member 40 is connected to the blade 21 through the spring 50. However, the present invention is not limited to this structure. For example, as illustrated in Fig. 6, the electrode member 40 may be connected to the blade 21 through a connection member 70 made of electrically conductive resin or metal.

[0081] Specifically, according to this embodiment, a supply electrode 200 includes the electrode member 40 of the above-described embodiment and the connection member 70. The connection member 70 includes a plate portion 71 and an extension portion 72. The plate portion 71 faces the protruding portion 22C of the support member 22 and the blade 21. The plate portion 71 has a hole 71A through which the first screw S1 is inserted. As illustrated in Fig. 7, the plate portion 71 is fixed to the casing 11 together with the protruding portion 22C of the support member 22 by the first screw S1. The plate portion 71 is in contact with the blade 21.

[0082]  The extension portion 72 extends from the plate portion 71 toward the rib 45 of the electrode member 40. Specifically, the extension portion 72 extends in a direction perpendicular to the plate portion 71. The tip end portion of the extension portion 72 is in contact with the rib 45. Also in this embodiment, since the supply electrode 200 is connected to the blade 21 without intervention of the support member 22, electric power can be satisfactorily supplied to the blade 21 in comparison with a connection configuration with intervention of the support member 22 whose electrical conductivity has been lowered due to surface treatment. Furthermore, in this embodiment, since the connection member 70 and the support member 22 are co-fastened to the casing 11, the connection member 70 can be caused to satisfactorily contact with the blade 21 by the fastening force of the co-fastening.

[0083] In the above-described embodiments, the connection member (50 or 70) is formed separately from the electrode member 40. However, the present invention is not limited to this structure and the connection member may be formed integrally with the electrode member. For example, the connection member 70 illustrated in Fig. 7 may be formed integrally with the electrode member 40.

[0084] Incidentally, the materials of the developing electrode 30, electrode member 40 and the spring 50 can be changed as appropriate. For example, the developing electrode 30 and the electrode member 40 may be made of any other electrically conductive material such as metal. Moreover, the spring 50 may be made of any other electrically conductive material such as electrically conductive resin.

[0085] In the above-described embodiment, the spring 50 including the coil portion 51 has been described as an example of the spring. However, the present invention is not limited to this structure. For example, a leaf spring may be used as the spring.

[0086] Further, the present invention may be implemented with any combination of the components employed in the above-described embodiments and modifications.

Reference Signs List



[0087] 

1: developing cartridge

11: casing

12: developing roller

13: supply roller

20: layer thickness regulation blade

21: blade

22: support member

30: developing electrode

40A: base

50: spring

100: supply electrode




Claims

1. A developing cartridge comprising:

a casing configured to accommodate therein toner;

a developing roller;

a supply roller configured to supply the toner to the developing roller;

a layer thickness regulation blade in contact with a circumferential surface of the developing roller;

a developing electrode electrically connected to the developing roller; and

a supply electrode electrically connected to the supply roller and the layer thickness regulation blade, the supply electrode comprising:

an electrode member electrically connected to a rotation shaft of the supply roller, the electrode member being movable in a direction perpendicular to the rotation shaft of the supply roller; and

a connection member electrically connecting the electrode member and the layer thickness regulation blade, the connection member being in contact with the electrode member and the layer thickness regulation blade,

wherein the electrode member is movable relative to the connection member in the direction perpendicular to the rotation shaft of the supply roller in a state where the electrode member is in contact with the connection member.


 
2. The developing cartridge according to claim 1, wherein the connection member is a spring.
 
3. The developing cartridge according to claim 2, wherein the spring comprises:

a coil portion extending in an axial direction of the supply roller; and

an arm portion having a line shape extending from the coil portion toward the layer thickness regulation blade, the arm portion being in contact with the layer thickness regulation blade.


 
4.  The developing cartridge according to claim 3, wherein the electrode member comprises a base having a hole for fixing the electrode member to the casing, and
wherein the coil portion is positioned between the base and the casing and is in contact with the base.
 
5. The developing cartridge according to claim 4, wherein the casing comprises a boss to which a screw is fixed, the boss being inserted through the hole of the base, and
wherein the coil portion is supported by the boss.
 
6. The developing cartridge according to claim 5, wherein the developing electrode is fixed to the boss by the screw.
 
7. The developing cartridge according to any one of claims 3 to 6, wherein the arm portion comprises a nipping portion nipping a part of the casing and the layer thickness regulation blade.
 
8. The developing cartridge according to any one of claims 3 to 7, wherein the layer thickness regulation blade comprises:

a blade in contact with the circumferential surface of the developing roller; and

a support member supporting the blade, and

wherein the arm portion is in contact with the blade.


 
9. The developing cartridge according to claim 4, wherein the spring is positioned between the casing and the base.
 
10. The developing cartridge according to claim 4, wherein the electrode member comprises:

a first portion in contact with the supply roller; and

a second portion positioned at a position different from a position of the first portion, the second portion being capable of contacting with an external electrode, and

wherein the base connects the first portion and the second portion.


 
11. The developing cartridge according to claim 8, wherein the connection member comprises a plate portion fixed to the casing together with the support portion by a screw.
 
12. The developing cartridge according to claim 11, wherein the connection member is made of electrically conductive resin.
 
13. The developing cartridge according to claim 11, wherein the connection member is made of metal.
 
14. The developing cartridge according to any one of claims 1 to 13, wherein the casing has a cam surface for moving the supply electrode in a direction perpendicular to the rotation shaft of the supply roller.
 
15. The developing cartridge according to claim 8, wherein the support member has a through-hole through which a screw is inserted.
 




Drawing

























Search report










Cited references

REFERENCES CITED IN THE DESCRIPTION



This list of references cited by the applicant is for the reader's convenience only. It does not form part of the European patent document. Even though great care has been taken in compiling the references, errors or omissions cannot be excluded and the EPO disclaims all liability in this regard.

Patent documents cited in the description