Pigments are used for the coloring of paint, ink, plastic, fabric, cosmetics, food and other materials. Most pigments are dry colorants, usually ground into a fine powder. As such they are suspended in a medium or vehicle for use in production. Toner is also a powder but used specifically in laser printers and photocopiers to form the printed text and images on the paper. Toner particles are melted by the heat of the fuser, and bind to the paper.
Although traditionally the average size of toner particles was 14–16 micrometers diameter, the particle size of more current toner products has been reduced to 8–10 micrometers in order to obtain 600 dots per inch resolution. Particle size and particle size distribution are critical in order to produce a powder suitable for use in printers.
Malvern’s range of easy to use particle size, zeta potential, rheological and imaging instrumentation can be used in the study of powder coatings. These systems and our industry and application knowledge can be used to:
- Characterize the particle size and polydispersity of the pigment and toner particles.
- Assess pigment aggregation.
- Image both the particle size and particle shape of the pigments and toners.
- Determine charge of pigment materials.
- Determine viscosity characteristics that influence color, gloss, resolution and surface coverage.
- Rheological measurements to characterize fluid flow.