The Effects of Humidity on Printers

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It is easy to take for granted the inkjet and laser printers most businesses use every day. However, these are complex machines that move at extremely high speeds, putting millions of microscopic dots on very thin sheets of paper in a matter of mere seconds. During the printing process, humidity is one of the biggest external factors that can negatively impact the final quality.

Paper and humidity


Humidity impacts paper regardless of the printer you use. Paper is naturally very dry, and many of the papers used in digital printers for professional use are just four to five percent moist. However, relatively dry air makes it more prone to static electricity, causing it to jam. However, high humidity causes the paper to become damp, which also reduces the print quality and causes jams.

Inkjet printers and humidity​


Humidity impacts paper regardless of the printer you use. Many papers intended for businesses' digital printers contain just four to five percent water by nature. However, too dry air can further dry out the paper, making it more susceptible to static electricity, which can cause jamming. In contrast, high humidity dampens paper, resulting in jams as well as poor-quality prints.

Laser printers/copiers and humidity​


The fuser used by laser printers and xerographic copiers to melt the toner onto paper poses a different set of problems. Because wet paper releases moisture from its fibers as it passes through a hot fuser, laser printer paper is usually dryer than regular paper. High humidity leads to dry paper absorbing more moisture, leading to the water inside it boiling unevenly as it passes through the fuser, causing wrinkles. Additionally, the toner won't stick as well to wet paper.

Humidity Management​


To determine whether you have a moisture problem, you need to measure the amount of moisture in the air with a hygrometer. Consider installing a humidifier or dehumidifier around your printer if the air around it has a humidity level of less than 40 percent or more than 60 percent. Also, you can protect your paper from environmental damage. Keep the paper off the ground in an area where the temperature is similar to your printer's. Keeping your paper wrapped in its ream wrapper during storage until you need it for printing can also greatly help prevent problems with moisture.
 

stratman

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So that's what causes wrinkles with a laser printer!

Thank for this different perspective on printing, PK.
 
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