The imaging system of a laser printer is a toss-up between the OPC photoreceptor drum and the laser scanning assembly. After the image is formed on the OPC drum, toner powder is introduced simultaneously. Through the action of static electricity, toner literally jumps into the paper media and the whole (paper and toner) thing moves into the fuser to permanently bind toner to paper. The laser printer component responsible for supplying a sufficient amount of toner to the photoreceptor drum is the detachable toner cartridge.
Toner powder supplied with the toner cartridge is composed of substances such as the magnetic oxides of iron and minute amounts of carbon black, which operates as colorant. These substances are then encapsulated or mixed in styrene (the binder resin). Styrene is a major toner component which comprise of as much as 50% of the different toner formulations available in the market. New generation toner cartridges are devised with electronic based sensors that work with the laser printer in providing information regarding toner level, print quality, and general toner cartridge function. Moreover, the sensor system of a toner cartridge incorporates an encoder wheel working in sync with a rotating beater blade responsible for feeding toner into the metering system.
Toner cartridges manufactured by OEMs include components such as a wiper and or/doctor blade. The doctor blade serves to control the release of toner on the surface of the rotating developer roller and provides steady electrical charge. Toner powder coming out of the doctor blade is in turn transferred to the surface of the photoconductive drum, along with the latent image to be printed. During the course of printing, small amounts of toner powder left on the photoreceptor drum has to be removed and deposited on the waste toner chamber before the drum rotates anew to begin a new cycle. If not cleaned thoroughly, print defects will likely manifest over printouts.
In the case of the Ricoh 400963 monochrome toner cartridge, excess toner is collected and given a new electrical charge similar to the charge of toner particles nestled inside the toner chamber before it is recycled and reused. The process of recycling toner powder is repeated after each printing cycle until recycled toner can no longer accept any electrical charge, which normally happens when the toner cartridge is already low on toner which legibly appear as toner dusts over printed documents.
Most print defects are due in part to low toner supply or totally empty toner cartridges. This can be resolved by reloading a replacement toner cartridge. You could also follow the practice of prudent laser printer users which involves the refill of empty toner cartridges with a compatible toner refill kit. As such, the Ricoh CL-3000 black toner refill kit for the Ricoh 400963 cartridge is retailed for only $27 and yields 5,500 pages on 5% page coverage just like its OEM counterpart.