IMPROVING SCRAP TONER PROPERTIES
Original Publication Date: 1996-Aug-31
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2004-Apr-07
Xerox Disclosure Journal
Producing toners invariably results in the production of material that is not suitable for machine end use. Sometimes, this material can be blended into new batches of toner, but frequently this material must be discarded. W e its non-optimal particle size or its lack or overabundance of a particular component precludes is use in Xerox machines, it is primarily its brittleness that prevents it from being recycled into the myriad of other uses involving plastics. Disclosed is a means to add flexibility to the toner so that it may be recycled for non-copying end uses requiring a polymeric material with some level of mechanical integrity. Scrap toner is premixed mechanically with a AX8840 compatibilizer which is an ethylene acrylic ester terpolymer commercially available from Elf-Atochem, and then extruded together so that a composite material would be produced. The resultant composite is much more resistant to the cracking and snapping characteristic of plain toner. When injection molded, a plain toner at 400°F and a blend of toner and AX8840 (equal parts) at 410°F to show that the blended material is more than twenty times more resistant to cracking when subjected to a clamping force. The optimal combination of toner and compatibilizer as well as specific molding conditions could be optimized later, balancing cost of adding AX8840 with flexibility of material produced. The material could be extruded directly into some form or collected and then sold for use within the plastics industry. This recovers the cost incurred in discarding the toner and also reduces the environmental impact of making photocopier supplies.