Transfer Rollers/Assemblies for Laser Printer & Copier
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What is a printer transfer roller?
A transfer roller is an important component of a laser printer as it is responsible for transferring toner, corresponding to the image or text, from the imaging drum to the paper. It also collects excess toner particles to transfer them to a waste toner bottler (or waste hopper), which ensures that toner powder does not collect inside the printer.
The transfer roller is made of a metal tube coated in rubber, and is a part that can be cleaned or replaced. The transfer roller sits just beyond the drum and in front of the fuser unit.
What does a transfer roller do?
Paper moves through multiple components of a printer to complete the printing process. The imaging drum receives the material to be printed from the laser and after this, the paper passes through the transfer roller. The toner gets distributed on the paper corresponding to the image/text to be printed. After the transfer roller does its job, the fuser unit fixes the toner onto the paper using heat and pressure.
Transfer roller vs transfer belt
In colour laser printers, a transfer roller is replaced by a transfer belt that performs the same function. The transfer belt is also sometimes referred to as a transfer assembly. Rama does this mean only monochrome laser printers use transfer rollers?
Cleaning a printer’s transfer roller
You can clean your transfer roller to remove excess toner or residual toner spots on the roller surface. Refer to the instructions in your printer manual to remove the roller and use compressed air to blow away the toner residue. Wear gloves and do this near a rubbish bin, holding the roller away from your clothes. You can also use a lint-free cloth to gently wipe it clean.
Signs of problems with transfer roller
A printer will exhibit certain signs if the transfer roller isn’t working properly. Some common transfer roller problems can result in: streaking, squealing sounds, paper jamming and strange odours. Please note however that as these signs may also be caused by problems with other components, the surest way to know if your transfer roller needs to be changed is an error message indication on the display screen.
If your prints show streaks in some places, or black ink spots, then it is possible that the transfer roller is dirty. If cleaning the roller does not solve the problem, you should change the roller. When the transfer roller isn’t positioned correctly, or if the clips holding it are damaged, you will hear squealing sounds. Try repositioning the roller by following the manufacturer’s instructions. Replace the transfer roller if the sounds persist.
If a transfer roller has shifted in position even slightly, it can cause papers to jam and get stuck there. If your printer is having frequent paper jams try removing and reinstalling the transfer roller as per your printer's manual instructions .
Any odd smell coming from the printer could be due to a dirty roller or incorrect interactions with other components. Try wiping your roller clean. If odd smells persist replace with a fresh transfer roller.