How Does Photocopying Work?
A photocopier is a standard office equipment that copies documents and photographs quickly and cheaply. Nevertheless, you may have asked yourself, ‘how does photocopying work?’ The machine uses a process called xerography to create the image. The heart of a photocopier is a cylindrical drum that is electrostatically charged. The charge is generated by corona wires that are exposed to high voltage. The drum has a special coating that conducts electricity where it encounters light.
If you would like to learn more about business photocopiers, you can do so here.
How Does Photocopying Work?
Photocopying, specifically in the context of xerography, involves the following steps:
The original document is placed on a glass platen or fed into the photocopier’s feeder.
A bright light or laser scans the document, creating a digital image of its contents.
The light or laser selectively discharges a photosensitive drum, leaving behind an electrostatic image of the document.
Toner, a dry powder, is attracted to the charged areas on the drum, forming a visible image.
The toner image is transferred onto a sheet of paper and fused to the paper using heat and pressure.
The final copy is produced, replicating the contents of the original document.
How Does Photocopying Work: Static Electricity
When two materials are rubbed together, they rub away electrons from each other. When the number of electrons in each material is not balanced, that material becomes charged. The more complex the rubbing, the more electrons transfer, creating a more significant charge. When those charged electrons come into contact with something metallic, they release their energy as a tiny spark or shock. That’s why some people who work with sensitive electronic chips wear straps that keep them “grounded” so they don’t damage the chips.
Static electricity can cause many problems in a copy machine, including dust accumulation and smearing of the printed image. It can also attract ink and cause it to print where it shouldn’t. This can result in “pinholes” in the printed image. It can also cause ink droplets to scatter and not adhere properly to the substrate, showing through as a haze on the finished copy.
Advantages of laser printers
Laser printers offer a clear edge over their inkjet counterparts.
Toner yields are generally far higher and more economic viable than ink cartridges regardless of the fact there may be an initial higher spend for the machine
Laser printers offer far higher accuracy than the ink used in inkjet printing
Less downtime and better quality printing = perfect for busy workplaces
How Does Photocopying Work: Light
Light and dark are the primary elements that affect how well a photocopy turns out. Photocopiers use a light-sensitive surface called a photoreceptor to create an image on paper. This photoreceptor insulates in the dark and becomes conducting when illuminated by light. This causes air molecules to ionise and attracts positively charged powder spread over the surface of the photoreceptor.
The ionised powder adheres to the areas of the document where the photoconductive surface was illuminated. It is then transferred to the paper by electrostatic attraction. A sheet of paper is then pressed against the toner-coated surface, and heat is applied, which fuses the powder image to the paper.
Before the Xerox machine, it took considerable effort to get important documents circulated within a corporation. Often, a letter would go from one person’s desk to another’s and then get passed around with a routing slip. The Xerox copying process, called xerography, changed the pathways of knowledge by making it easy to copy essential articles and white papers that otherwise might have been confined to a select few.
How Does Photocopying Work: Toner
Xerography is the technology that allows copying to be done quickly and cheaply. It uses electrostatic charges on a light-sensitive drum to attract and then transfer toner particles (a black powder) to paper in the form of an image fused to the paper with heat or pressure. The negative charges on the drum correspond with the dark areas on the original document. A positively charged toner, made of iron oxide and plastic resin, is passed over the drum, attracting the toner beads away from the dark areas.
The toner is then transferred to the paper with static electricity. While changing large toner containers on photocopiers can seem intimidating, the procedure is safe if staff follow simple instructions. The containers are designed to minimise inhalation and contact with skin and eyes during insertion and removal. Staff should also avoid working near photocopiers where poor ventilation is possible.
How Does Photocopying Work: Paper
Before the invention of commercial xerography, making copies took a lot of work. Inventors had long sought to automate the process, with limited success. Thomas Jefferson used a pantograph, which manipulated one pen to duplicate the movements of another, but the copy could have been better. A modern photocopier is a machine that uses an image on a drum to create an identical copy on a piece of paper.
To make this copy, the drum is given opposing electrical charges and then charged with a fine black powder called toner. The toner is then attracted to the paper and fused by heat. When using a photocopier, it is essential to understand how the quality of the paper will affect the copies made. The quality of the paper is determined by how it is produced, whether mechanically or chemically; its thickness (measured in gsm); its sizing (to retard penetration by ink); and its brightness.
How Does Photocopying Work – Other Useful links about Business Photocopiers:
A3 Colour Photocopier Prices
Getting the Most Out of Your Photocopiers
Photocopiers For Schools
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