The present invention relates to an image forming apparatus such as a copying machine, a laser beam printer or the like, and more particularly, to a color image forming apparatus having a plurality of image forming units to form a color image.
2. Description of Related Art
Generally, in an image forming apparatus using an electrophotographic technique, a surface of an image bearing member is uniformly charged, an electrostatic image is formed on the image bearing member by the use of an optical scanning device, and an electrostatic latent image is formed on the surface of the image bearing member. Then, a toner is selectively attached to the electrostatic latent image to form a visual toner image. The toner image is transferred to a recording medium to form a color image. This color image forming apparatus is connected to a paper feeder to feed the recording medium.
Recently, a full-color image forming apparatus has been proposed, which is capable of forming a full-color image by using a plurality of image forming units in place of the above-described color image forming apparatus. In this type of image forming apparatus, the image forming units are disposed in two rows along a transport path of a recording medium, i.e., a conveyor belt, so that the image forming units are disposed along a traveling direction of the recording medium.
In the above-described conventional image forming apparatus, the image forming units are disposed in the vicinity of the conveyor belt. Therefore, because the conveyor belt has a substantially U-shape, the image forming units are widely spaced from each other. That is, a distance between the image forming units in a sub-scanning direction is large.
In the above-described conventional image forming apparatus, since the image forming units are widely spaced from each other in the sub-scanning direction, the image forming units are not disposed close to each other. Therefore, it is not possible to reduce a distance between conveyance rollers. As a result, there is a problem that a size of a whole image forming apparatus in the traveling direction (i.e., a width of the conveyor belt) is increased.This invention relates to a method of and apparatus for absorbing the heat from hot gases. More particularly, this invention relates to a method of and apparatus for providing a fluidized bed structure for heating a stream of hot gases.
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