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How Printer Cartridges Are Professionally Re-filled?

Most of you have probably heard about the cartridge re-fill sets that you can buy on-line. Some of you may have even successfully re-filled a cartridge yourself, but in some cases re-filling a cartridge with a needle doesn’t do the job perfectly… not to mention the mess.

So to educate you a little we’re going to take you through the process of how cartridges are re-filled in the correct way.

What types of cartridge can be refilled?

Not all cartridges can be refilled, it all depends on what type of cartridges you have. We can categorize them into three common groups:

  • Ink Cartridges: This type of cartridge contains ink and usually has a print-head built in.
  • Ink Tanks: This type of cartridge only contains the ink and does not have a print-head.
  • Toner Cartridges: This type of cartridge contains a special type of dust that is ‘fused’ to the paper.

Both ink cartridges and toner cartridges can be refilled, but today we’re going to talk about re-filling ink cartridges specifically.

How should ink cartridges be re-filled?

Now to take you through how ink cartridge should be re-filled if done professionally…

Cleaning the cartridge:

A cartridge should be cleaned and checked over before the re-filling process begins. This cleaning stage begins with a liquid cleaning solution being applied to the print-head of the empty cartridge and left 24 hours to moisturise any dried up ink.

Once the 24 hours have passed the cartridge is placed in a centrifuge. The centrifuge is a piece of machinery that spins the cartridge rapidly, it uses centripetal acceleration to break dense substances up. In other words it breaks up any clogs and dried up ink by spinning the cartridge rapidly.

Next the copper circuitry on the cartridge is cleaned and then tested to make sure the it can communicate with the printer.

Another drop of cleaning solution is added to the print-head, the print-head is taped up and the cartridge is placed into a holding clip.

Re-filling the cartridge:

Once the cleaning process is finished the cartridge is moved to the re-filling machine. The machine removed the air in and surrounding the cartridge to create a vacuum. The ink is then injected while in the vacuum.

The cartridge is then ready for further testing. The tape and clip are removed and the cartridge is placed into a printer for quality testing. If any ink blots, cross colour contamination, fading, etc. is seen then the cartridge is knocked back.

A final drop of cleaning solution is added to the print-head to prevent the ink from drying while in storage, the cartridge is then taped up again, placed  into a clip and then packaged.

Author Bio:- Kyle is the web developer for a site that sells printer cartridges in the UK. Follow him on twitter here.