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Could Your Paper be Bad for Your Printer’s Health?

Author: Will Demuth Reference Number: AA-06375 Views: 7046 Created: 2014-05-07 09:37 am Last Updated: 2014-08-07 09:48 am 100 Rating/ 1 Voters

Metrofuser has repaired over 500,000 parts and printer devices. Metrofuser’s testing department prints over 5 million pages on 2.5 million pages of paper per year. Over the last 11 years the company has seen the effects of both good and bad paper.

Your choice of paper is as important as the toner cartridge. Metrofuser recommends paper that carries a domestic manufacturer’s performance/ satisfaction guarantee, backed up with independent 3rd party validation and technical support if needed. Currently there are two outstanding options sold under many brands.


The BLI Certification, conducted by Buyers Labs, involve running roughly one million sheets through dozens of different copiers, printers, fax machines, digital duplicators and multifunctional devices while assessing packaging quality, cut/edge attributes, image clarity and crease permanence, as well as numerous "runnability" metrics. The tests prove which papers are least likely to suffer from image quality or sheet-feed problems.  

 

Another option is ColorLok® paper. It provides outstanding quality and is available world-wide from a growing number of paper manufacturers. ColorLok® papers are sold under various brands. In addition to experiencing significantly fewer paper jams and other faults, ColorLok® copy paper leaves  behind less dust and toner contaminants, which contribute to long-term printer reliability and image quality issues.  Read More About The Science Behind ColorLok®

 

An extensive test conducted by Buyers Lab for HP found that certain papers can cause reliability and image quality problems in laser printers. The test encompassed nearly 2.5 million pages on 50 printers with five paper types. All 30 of the printers run with papers carrying the ColorLok® logo, which signifies that they meet a range of quality standards, produced 50,000 pages—a combined total of 1.5 million pages—with no reliability or image quality issues. In fact, they operated for up to nine times longer than printers running the paper types with large-size particle mineral fillers that do not meet the ColorLok® standard. Printers running ColorLok® papers also experienced more than four times fewer paper jams per paper type and maintained good quality output for up to three times longer than the same printers when run with the low-quality paper types. In addition, the ColorLok® papers left printers cleaner on the inside, leaving behind less paper dust and toner contamination that could potentially contribute to reliability issues.

Although today large-size particle papers are manufactured and primarily sold in Asia, where pulp resources are scarce, HP research projects a significant increase in the share of papers produced in Asia in the next decade. HP developed the ColorLok® standard, which a number of major paper manufacturers support, to ensure high customer satisfaction with its laser and inkjet printers. To read the full report


Certified papers are sold under various brands through retail, Internet, catalog, and contract stationers. Consumers can ask and look for the BLI or ColorLok® seal of approval on cartons and reams of imaging paper. 

 

Colorlok Brands
  • Member's Mark - Sam's Club
  • Antalis - Europe
  • Copamex - Latin America
  • Domtar - North America
  • Georgia Pacific - North America
  • HP - Worldwide
  • Inapa - Europe
  • International Paper - Worldwide
  • JK - India
  • Metsa Board - Worldwide
  • Mondi - Europe
  • Office Depot
  • Papyrus - Europe
  • Staples - Americas
  • Stora Enso - Europe
  • Suzano - Latin America
  • WB Mason Blizzard
 Bli Certified Brands
  • Boise X-9 Multi-Use Paper
  • Pioneer Paper
  • Navigator
  • Diverse Earth paper
  • GP Spectrum Multi-Use Paper
  • Yes Paper
  • Future Paper
  • Many Others








Here are just some of the many paper variables that effect your printer's reliability and image quality.

1. Moisture: Amount of water content in sheet.

 

Too High
• Poor toner adhesion
• Blotchy look/print mottle
• Image deletions
• Post-image curl

Too Low
• Multi-feeds/misfeeds due to static build-up
• Image deletions due to poor toner transfer
• Toner scatter

 

Digi-know? Papers engineered for offset presses typically contain up to 6% moisture. Reprographic papers are engineered for digital presses and typically contain 4.5% moisture. In general, papers with a high moisture content (over 5%) show a high propensity for curl in digital equipment ‹ so using paper formulated for digital presses means fewer issues.

 


 

2. CurlWhen a sheet takes on a curved quality, losing its "flatness."

 

Too Much Manufactured Curl 
• Feeding problems
• Transport problems
• Post-image curl

Too Much Post-Image Curl 
• Transport problems
• Delivery (roll-over jams) and post-image finishing issues
Duplex (second side) jamming

 

Digi-know? Paper tends to curl toward the heat of the fuser. Paper that's manufactured with a slight built-in curl away from the heated side reduces the overall post-image curl.

 


 

3. Resistivity: Ability to hold a static charge.

 

Too High 
• Image distortion because the charge may pull toner where it does not belong.

Too Low
• Poor or incomplete toner transfer, because the charge dissipates from the paper too quickly to complete the toner transfer completely

 

Digi-know? Paper is manufactured to the ideal moisture content, and should be kept in the ream wrap to protect it from humidity. Resistivity is greatly influenced by the sheet moisture.

 


 

4. Porosity: Characteristic of paper that allows liquids or vapors to seep through it.

 

More Porous 
• Misfeeds in vacuum-fed systems
• Multi-feeds

Less Porous
• Less likely to have misfeeds or multi-feeds.

 

Digi-know? The terms "porosity" and "density" are often used interchangeably, but they're actually opposites. A more porous sheet has low density (open formation); a less porous sheet has high density (tight formation).

 


 

5. SmoothnessThe evenness of the surface of the paper.

 

Too Slick 
• Feed and transport problems (sheet slipping in paper path)

Too Rough
• Poor toner adhesion; toner incompletely transferring and fusing to sheet
• Toner voids and uneven lay-down (mottle)

 

Digi-know? High resolution laser technology requires an extra-smooth sheet for even print in large-area screens and solids. This keeps toner from getting lost in "hills and valleys," thereby reducing print and gloss mottle. Smoothness is generally measured on the Sheffield scale, with lower numbers (30 to 125) representing smoother surfaces.

 


 

6. Stiffness: Force required to bend paper through a specified angle.

 

Too Stiff 
• Limits the sheet's ability to negotiate tight bends in the paper path.

Not Stiff Enough
• Sheet buckling/rolling over in the paper path
• Inability to accommodate finishing
• Limp feel

 

Digi-know? Stiffness can vary from machine direction (MD) to cross-machine direction (CMD) and is typically stiffer across the grain due to the resistance of the paper fibers to bend across themselves.

 


 

7. Formation: Uniformity of the sheet.

 

Poor Formation
• Image deletions due to cockling of the sheet
• Print mottle
• Increased show-through
• Uneven toner transfer
• Limp feel

Good Formation
• Even toner lay-down
• Reduced print mottle
• Visually pleasing

 

Digi-know? Hold a sheet up to the light and look through it. If you see big fluffy "clouds," chances are solid-coverage areas will not look uniform. This can also contribute to show-through in areas where there is lower or uneven fiber distribution in the sheet.

 


 

8. CaliperThickness of a sheet.

 

Too High
• Poor toner adhesion
• Transport jams
• Smeared images due to toner disruption before fusing

Too Low
• Multiple feeds
• Limp feel

 

Digi-know? Extreme caliper variations in a sheet can cause print quality issues due to varying degrees of toner transfer. Caliper variations within a single sheet can cause image deletions or a mottled appearance.

 


 

9. Basis weightWeight in pounds of 500 sheets cut to a given standard size for the paper type.

 

Equipment Setting Is Lighter Than Actual Sheet Weight
• Toner ghosting and deposits in unimaged areas, due to toner flaking off sheet during paper transport and contaminating internal press parts
• Solids may look dull and muted, due to incomplete toner melting
• Poor toner adhesion — toner flakes or rubs off the sheet after imaging

Equipment Setting Is Heavier Than Actual Sheet Weight
• Shortened lifespan of some press parts
• Increased toner gloss due to extra heat and/or pressure applied to the sheet during fusing of the toner

 

Digi-know? Color and solid images look better on heavier basis weights. Normally 24–28 lb bond is recommended to eliminate sheet cockle, because toner shrinks as it cools. (Typically, toner is a polymer made from plastic.)

 


 

10. Coefficient of friction (COF): Force needed to start a sheet feeding, as well as drag a sheet across the one underneath it as it continues to feed.

 

Too High
• May cause misfeeds or no feeding

Too Low
• May cause multi-feeding

 

Digi-know? COF is made up of two forces: static and kinetic. Static is the force needed to start the first sheet moving. Kinetic is the force needed to keep the sheets moving. Presses can be more tolerant of variations in smoothness as long as the COF is controlled.

 


 

11. BrightnessReflectance or brilliance of paper

 

Higher
• Sharper contrast
• Colors appear more vivid

Lower
• Muted look; less "pop"

 

Digi-know? Brightness may be used to differentiate premium sheets from ordinary grades, to influence price, and to increase sales. Customers tend to prefer brighter, whiter sheets. GE Brightness is the measurement generally used in the U.S.; ISO Brightness is used in Europe.

 


 

12. Opacity: A sheet's show-through properties

 

High
• Less show-through for duplex printing

Low
• Print mottle/poor formation exaggerated
• Show-through on duplex printing and heavy color usage

 

Digi-know? Ink hold-out also impacts show-through. The greater the ink hold-out, the less the show-through.

 


 

13. Dimensional stability: Change in sheet dimensions due to absorption and evaporation of moisture.

 

Unstable
• Cockled and/or wavy sheet, made worseafter imaging due to the uneven drying of the sheet in the fuser
• Image deletions and toner voids — causedby puckers that prevent even contact with photoreceptor, resulting in incomplete toner transfer when duplexing
• Poor sheet register, which can affect color registration on equipment without a transfer belt

Stable
• Less reactive to moisture pick-up and loss, therefore less reactive to environmental conditions

 

Digi-know? Paper fibers/wood fibers (pulp) absorb water easily (that's why they're used in diapers). It's best to keep paper wrapped in its ream packaging to protect it from humidity, which leads to moisture absorption.