10 things you didn't know about toners

Believe it or not, the history of print and printing technologies is an interesting one, and the development of toner cartridges has been revolutionary - from the first dry-ink printer through to the chemically modified precision inks and processes that many of us use today in the office today.  We have put together 10 things you may or may not have known about toners, prepared to be enlightened...

1.       The process of Xerography or electrophotography was invented in the late 1930s, and is the technology that pre-empted laser printing and photo copying. In the 1950s a fully automated process was put into place using a cylindrical drum instead of a flat plate.  

2.       In contrast to the liquid within inkjet cartridges, toner is made from solid particles (toner powder). These particles are melted to the page with the heat and pressure of a fuser. 

3.       In the early days of laser printing, toner was made of simple carbon powder. However, plastic or wax polymers were eventually introduced in order to improve quality, and made printing with toners more affordable as well as allowing customers to use them on a wide range of print media. 

4.       Toner particles move between the components, within the cartridge, through static electricity. Each toner particle is engineered to hold a specific charge and travel with extreme precision.

5.       Toner powder is manufactured in one of two ways, by grounding or by growing. In conventional toner, the ingredients are compounded into a slab, then ground or pulverized into a fine powder, resulting in toner granules of varying size and shape. In a chemically produced toner (CPT), particles are grown through a chemical process to the desired size and shape.   This consistent size and shape enables improved toner charging, toner placement, and wear characteristics and ultimately provides improved print quality, optimised toner usage, and lower energy use. 

6.       When it comes to toner particles, getting a uniform size and shape is most desirable. This enables consistency in the placement of the toner, wear characteristics and toner charge, which lead to optimised print quality.

7.       The first Laserjet desktop printer (that used toner cartridges) was launched by HP in 1984 with a price tag of $3,495 (£2,838 sterling).

8.       HP toner formulations vary from printer to printer because toners must meet specific performance requirements of each printing system, which is why there is not a universal toner that fits all devices.

9.       At The RedBus Cartridge Company, our toner cartridges are remanufactured.  This means that original cartridges are refilled and any worn or damaged parts are replaced. They are tested thoroughly to ensure that the highest standards of quality are met.

10.   There is a misconception about remanufactured toner cartridges being produced cheaply. An enormous amount of research and development goes into the remanufacturing process. In fact, it takes approximately 150 million toner particles just to cover about 5 percent of a page!