What is Toner?
Toner is an electrically-charged powder used in laser printers and photocopiers. It is used to form text or images. In its early form it was simply carbon powder. Later the manufactures added polymers to improve the quality of printing. The two main ingredients of toner powder are now pigment and polymer. The role of the pigment is fairly obvious, it provides the coloring (black, in a monochrome printer) that fills in the text and images. The use of polymer varies by manufacturers and even by printer model. Some of the most common polymers are styrene acrylate copolymer, polyester resin and styrene butadiene copolymer.
The formulation of toners can also vary in granule size and melting point. The particle size of toners has reduced from a 14–16 micrometers to 8–10 micrometers (600 dots per inch resolution) to improve resolution. The smaller the particle, the more accurate the color reproduction and efficiency. Uniform shapes are also a great factor when talking about improving the quality of the printout. Further reductions in particle size producing further improvements in resolution are being developed through the application of new technologies.
In earlier machines, this low-cost carbon toner was poured by the user from a bottle into a reservoir in the machine. Current machines feed directly from a sealed cartridge. To save money and keep cartridges from piling up in landfills, empty cartridges can be refilled or even better, remanufactured. Remanufactured cartridges refill the empty toner cartridges and the quality remanufactured cartridges like found at Clickinks.com also replace all used or worn parts.