Color Toner Cartridges: How do they Work?
Are you looking forward to buying a laser printer? Well, they can be broken down into two main categories; color laser printers and black laser printers. More people prefer to use color printers because they produce better quality prints compared to ink cartridges. Furthermore, you can print black using the color toner cartridges, meaning that you do not need to have a separate laser printer for printing color.
In this post, we take a closer look at the toner cartridges to help you understand how they work in your color laser printers.
Comparing Color Toner and Ink Cartridges
The main difference between the two is that toner cartridges use powder color while inkjet uses ink. Here are other differences between the two:
Ink cartridges can be pigment-based or dye-based depending on the type of your printer. Most printers traditionally use dye-based inks, which are more economical compared to the pigment type. Furthermore, they are able to produce more vibrant and true-to-life color prints. However, you should appreciate that they are susceptible to smudging, and most prints will fade after about 25 years.
Pigment-based ink provides a more crispy finish and is preferred because it dries faster. Photographers and graphic designers prefer it because it is able to resist water and UV radiation. Besides, the print can last for up to 200 years before fading off.
Unlike the inkjets, toner cartridges are used in laser printers. These cartridges can be broken into two, monochrome models and color designs. The monochrome cartridges only print in black, whereas the color models use four colors, black, magenta, yellow, and cyan.
Although color toner cartridges are expensive, many people prefer them because they deliver better print quality. Furthermore, they print faster and deliver high yield, meaning that the overall cost of printing per page is very low. This is why mrdepot.ca strongly recommends that you go for the color toner cartridge if you want to enjoy high-quality print and satisfaction.
How Does the Color Toner Cartridge Work?
If you want to enjoy high-quality print from your color toner cartridge, it is important to start by understanding how it works.
The Components of a Color Toner Cartridge
- Plastic/polyester: Most color toners today are made with 85-95% plastic/polyester that is broken into a fine powder. For better resolution, the powder has to be as fine as possible.
- Carbon black: Polyester, the main ingredient in color toner cartridges, is clear as opposed to black. So, some carbon is added to provide the black color. Note that Carbon black is a class-2 carcinogen and should be handled with a lot of care. Also, at the end of life, you should avoid disposing of the toner cartridge into the environment.
- Silica: This is used to provide a silky flow to the polyester toner. The substance appears like microscopic glass beads and helps to spread the toner on the page at superfast speed, especially when making a lot of prints fast.
- Charge Control Agent: As the toner moves from the cartridge when printing, it is crashed against the blade, resulting in the development of static charges. This process is referred to as Tribo-electrification and it helps to provide negative bias to the toner so that it can cling to the drum when printing.
- Pigment Yellow: When using a color laser printer, it should have different cartridges for all the colors, including black, yellow, cyan, and magenta. The yellow color comes from Pigment Yellow 180, which is a benzimidazolone compound.
- Pigment Blue 15:3: Cyan in the toner cartridge is provided by Pigment Blue 15:3, which is made using copper phthalocyanine.
- Pigment Red 122: The red color used in the toner comes from Pigment 122, a compound of Quinacridone that contains red hues. This is a very durable and stable component and it is the reason why it is used in most exterior paints.
- Polypropylene Wax: This is a crucial ingredient used in printer toner for lubrication. It is a polymer just like polyester that comes with more carbon strands but contains fewer chemicals on the strand. This implies there is ample space for more molecules to slide past one another.
The Printing Process Using a Toner Cartridge
The process of printing can be broken down into six steps.
- Charging: Here, the strong negative charges are applied to the surface of the toner cartridge drum using corona wire.
- Exposing: In this stage, the laser scans the drum from one end to the other and also turns on and off depending on the signal you give it from your computer. The charge that is received by the drum is lowered significantly in all the areas that were touched by the laser beam.
- Developing: The toner is transferred to different sections of the drum with a negative charge. It is also attracted by a magnet in the roller and sticks because of electrostatic charges.
- Transferring: The rollers get signals from formatted boards so that papers are sent through, transferring the text and images to the paper. The paper is charged negatively.
- Fusing: Up to this point, the toner is attached to the paper lightly and it is time to get it fixed permanently. Therefore, the fuser heats a pair of rollers that melts the toner on the printing papers. Note that the process happens fast to avoid burning the paper.
- Cleaning: This is the last stage and it involves passing bright light on the photoreceptor surface to erase the electrical image. After this, the drum will be ready for the next printing task.
If you do a lot of color printing, one of the best options is using laser printers because they are fast, deliver better print quality, and the page yield is also high. It is also important to understand how it works, as we have demonstrated in this post. Note that to enjoy high-quality prints when using toner cartridges, it is paramount to only select the best model from a trusted vendor.