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Printing Basics – What is a Toner?

Have you ever wondered how the text gets printed on paper when you hit the print button on your computer screen? Interesting, isn’t it? Apparently, there is lot of logic behind the processing of these printed documents, although for us it looks like a five second exercise. It is not quite the same story for people who work day in and day out to design a high quality printer which can produce high quality documents. The component that is responsible for printing the texts and images on a paper is known as “Toner”.  It is a powder which is used in all kinds of high quality printers in order to have very high quality output. In this article, you would get to know about this extremely useful material so that you get a brief overview about the processing of the output.

Point of origin:  Originally, this powder was an amalgamation of carbon powder, iron oxide and sugar. With this composition in place, the output wasn’t up to the mark therefore the engineers opted to melt the carbon with a polymer in order to get the output which they were looking for. The toner cartridges which are presently in use come in a variety of colors, namely cyan, magenta, yellow and black.

The role two Ps: The two Ps : Pigment and Plastic play a very important role in toning the print of any document.  Pigment is responsible for coloring the fonts which get printed on paper. The plastic will bind the pigment together so that it doesn’t get segregated easily.

How to apply:  The powder is stored in a small container which is built inside the printer and is known as toner hopper. The printer collects the powder from this container alongside a unit called developer unit.  This unit is a bunch of negatively charged magnetic beads and these are attached to a rotating metal roller which works in tandem with the toner in the toner hopper. Since the developer unit is negatively charged, as per the rule of chemistry, the positively charged toner particles gets attracted to it, which leads to the movement of these particles inside the printer.

Environment friendly to the core:  Initially, there were many challenges in making this product congenial to the environment because of the fact that the particles which were used were not very healthy to the environment and it led to some sort of side-effects. However, with the upgrade of these materials the engineers have been greatly successful in making it akin to the environment and no damage has been reported by its use.

This material is the part and parcel of any printing device and one could hardly imagine life without it. It has been many decades since its inception and the users have been reaping its benefits right from day one.