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Paper Re-Use: Toner-Print Removal by Laser Ablation

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This article explores the possibility of using a laser to remove toner-print from office paper. Removal of print would allow paper to be re-used instead of being recycled or disposed into a landfill. This might reduce climate change gas emissions per tonne of office paper by between 45% and 95%. Although there is little previous research on the area, a number of related articles on paper conservation methods using laser radiation can be found in literature. Different authors have studied the effects of laser energy on blank paper and its application for cleaning soiled paper. However, this study examines toner-print removal from paper by laser ablation. In this article a laser in the visible range is applied to a single toner-paper combination with a range of energy fluences. Results are evaluated by means of colour measurements under the L*a*b* colour space and SEM images. Analysis of the samples reveals that there are parameters under which it is possible to remove toner from paper without causing significant discolouration or damage to the substrate. This means that it is technically possible to remove toner-print for paper reuse.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2010-01-01

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  • For more than 30 years, IS&T's series of digital printing conferences have been the leading forum for discussion of advances and new directions in 2D and 3D printing technologies. A comprehensive, industry-wide conference that brings together industry and academia, this meeting includes all aspects of the hardware, materials, software, images, and applications associated with digital printing systems?particularly those involved with additive manufacturing and fabrication?including bio-printing, printed electronics, page-wide, drop-on-demand, desktop and continuous ink jet, toner-based systems, and production digital printing, as well as the engineering capability, optimization, and science involved in these fields. In 2016, the conference changed its name formally to Printing for Fabrication to better reflect the content of the meeting and the evolving technology of printing.

    Please note: For purposes of its Digital Library content, IS&T defines Open Access as papers that will be downloadable in their entirety for free in perpetuity. Copyright restrictions on papers vary; see individual paper for details.

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