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Compatink / Photography / Understanding the Functioning of Toner Cartridges

Understanding the Functioning of Toner Cartridges

The toner is one of the most intriguing parts of copiers and laser printers. Instead of the printer applying ink, the paper reaches for the toner – which is not ink, but the powder that is charged electronically made of pigment and plastic. How do Brother HL 3140CW toner cartridges really work? Let us find out.

How the Toner Works

The two components of the toner — pigment, and plastic carry out simple roles during printing. The pigment avails the colour while the plastic part melts under heat to ensure the pigment sticks on the paper.

Unlike ink, the toner sticks firmly on the paper, resisting bleeding and smudges. Because of this, the text will be clearer and sharp making it more readable. Besides great work, the toners are cheaper to replace than inkjet cartridges.

Toner Cartridge Anatomy

The design of toner cartridges will vary depending on the manufacturer and model. However, most cartridges contain the following:

Toner hopper – The housing of the toner.

Seal – A strip that is removable keeping the toner from spilling during installation.

Doctor blade – Regulates the precise toner amount that is distributed to the developer.

Developer – Helps to move the toner to the Organic Photoconductor (OPC) drum.

Waste bin – Carries the residual toner from the OPC drum.

Wiper blade – Wipes away residual toner on the page.

PCR (Primary charge roller) – Deletes the laser image.

OPC drum – Its work is transferring toner onto the paper.

Drum shutter – Hinders light from striking the drum when it is outside the printer retracts it into the machine.

How Does the Cartridge Work?

Nearly all cartridges have a replaceable hopper, drum assembly, and the developer. The printer uses the developer to get the toner from hopper during printing. Being negatively charged, the developer attracts positively charged toner beads.

Because the drum has stronger electrostatic charges, it pulls the toner from the developer when it nears it. The drum then moves over the paper – which pulls the drum particles because of its stronger negative charges.

The plastic present in the toner melts to make the absorption of the toner particles into the paper. The plastic sticks to the paper without adhering to the fuser rollers – which are heated because of the Teflon coating on the rollers.

Monochrome vs Monochrome Printing

Colour toners and monochrome ones work in a similar manner, except the toner colour repeats in colour toners. Typically, the toner colours are magenta (red), cyan (blue), yellow and black. The black is needful because the other colours can mix to form other colours apart from black.

Central to this is the fact that black isn’t actually a colour but absence of colour (technically). Combining these four colours in varied saturation and lightness can make millions of other hues and shades.

Because of the technology improvements in Brother HL 3140CW toner cartridges, laser printers are dominant in most offices. The future is brighter. Upcoming toner cartridges promise to be more cost effective and efficient for home and office printing.

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