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Pyrogenic silica is a key constituent of the dry toners used by laser printers and photocopiers. WACKER, together with its distributor Clariant, provides tailor-made solutions.

Good print quality depends on many factors. In the case of photocopiers and laser printers, it largely depends on the toner. This micro-fine powder produces letters and images on paper with razor-sharp definition. The underlying process is electrophotography, in which the dry toner, or rather the toner particles, are charged. For this purpose, a triboelectric effect can be used. This term denotes the charging of two materials when they come into contact with each other and are subsequently separated. The charged particles are transported in electric fields and transferred to the paper.

Investigating the chargeability and flowability of a dry toner in the lab.

Continuous improvements of dry toner enable higher print speeds and greater energy efficiency in the printing process – they also ensure flawless print quality. To achieve this, the dry toner needs to be perfectly adapted to the process, since not only the toner, but also the photocopiers and printers are continuously being optimized. Major manufacturers in the key markets of Japan and the USA develop not only toners, but also compatible equipment. By using WACKER’s HDK® pyrogenic silica, manufacturers can selectively adjust essential toner properties such as flowability, triboelectric chargeability and stability – in storage and in use. The highly innovative toner industry can draw on tailor-made products and services provided by WACKER and Clariant.

The success of HDK®, especially in Japan and the USA, is also the result of this long-standing partnership between WACKER and the Swiss chemical group that dates back to the 1980s. In addition to the HDK® produced by WACKER, Clariant also produces and markets other toner additives such as waxes, pigments and charge control agents.