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 user 2007-06-21 at 2:03:00 pm Views: 82
  • #18263

    Chemicals Supplier Tailored Toner Pigments
    European chemicals supplier, LANXESS, comments on the demand and production of magnetite pigments for printer and copier toners.
    At this year’s congress held concurrent with the Remax trade show in Dusseldorf, Dr. Hendrik Kathrein of LANXESS gave a presentation on the production of magnetite pigments for printer and copier toners. In his speech, the pigments expert from the Inorganic Pigments business unit emphasized that the demands on synthetic iron oxides are becoming increasingly more stringent. LANXESS is keeping pace: The company has the expertise for tailored solutions and products characterized by the highest levels of quality and environmental compatibility. As one of the world’s largest manufacturers of iron oxide pigments, LANXESS is also a leading supplier of toner oxides.

    Printer toner is more than just magnetic iron oxide. In most copiers and laser printers, magnetite pigments are used to blacken the appropriate parts of the page. Each magnetic one-component toner contains 30 to 60 percent of the specialty iron oxides. But modern devices have strict requirements for the particles. Each particle should be identical to all the others to ensure an optimal printed image. The particles have to exhibit the proper magnetic and electrical properties, and these properties must not be affected by humidity. Finally, the color has to be right: Deep black with an elegant blue undertone is preferred today. To satisfy all of these requirements, the iron oxide must crystallize under precisely controlled conditions.Modern laser printers, for example, require the smallest possible pigments with high tinting strength and low residual magnetism (remanence). There are no conventional magnetite crystals meeting these specifications. Magnetite normally crystallizes in a cubic or an octahedral (8-faced) structure. Both forms have excessive remanence and cannot be used in laser printers – unless larger particles are used. The tinting strength of these coarse crystals is too low, however. It took an ingenious formulation to produce spherical crystals, the only ones that exhibit all of the desired properties. LANXESS produces these specialty pigments with tailored chemical and physical properties.

    Another specialty are pigments with a silicone “rain coat” for particularly high-performance printers. As long as no one pours coffee into the copier, the “H-grades” absorb almost no water. The products have significant advantages for the manufacture of moisture-sensitive polyester-based toners. Adsorbed water influences the conductivity of the iron oxides and thus the electrostatic charge, which in turn can degrade print quality. The H-grades ensure that moisture in the air does not result in washed out colors.Because LANXESS works only with select iron raw materials, the entire product line is nearly free of dangerous heavy metals such as lead, cadmium, mercury or hexavalent chromium, and LANXESS pigments allow the production of toners which satisfy the criteria for eco-labels such as the “Blue Angel” (Germany) and “Eco Mark” (Japan). The heavy metal content of toners has been considered a possible workplace health hazard for some years now, making the environment-related labels an increasingly important marketing argument for the toner manufacturers.It is the perfect quality of the magnetic pigments that make perfect printouts possible. LANXESS produces tailored magnetites for a variety of applications.