Toner and how it works

The toner hopper, developer and
drum assembly are combined in one
replaceable New Generation toner cartridge

One of the most distinctive things about a New Generation cartridge is the toner. Toner is an electrically-charged powder with two main ingredients: pigment and plastic.

The role of the pigment provides the coloring (black, in a monochrome printer) that fills in the text and images. This pigment is blended into plastic particles, so the toner will melt when it passes through the heat of the fuser inside the laser printer. Toner firmly binds to the fibers in almost any type of paper, which means the text won't smudge or bleed easily.

The toner is stored in the toner hopper, a small container built into the New Generation laser casing. The printer gathers the toner from the hopper with the developer roller. The developer roller is negatively charged and passes through the toner in the toner hopper collecting the positive toner particles. The roller then brushes past the drum assembly. The electrostatic image has a stronger negative charge than the developer roller, so the drum pulls the toner particles away.

The drum then moves over the paper, which has an even stronger charge and so atracts the toner. After collecting the toner, the paper is immediately discharged. The only thing keeping the toner on the page is gravity. The page must pass through the fuser to melt the toner to the page. The fuser rollers are heated, so the plastic in the toner melts as it passes through. The fuser rollers are generally coated with Teflon, the same non-stick material that keeps your breakfast from sticking to the bottom of the frying pan and as a result remain clean and ready for the next page.