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How Remanufactured Printer Ink Cartridges Are Tested For Safety


Remanufactured printer ink cartridges undergo rigorous safety testing and a complete quality assurance review before they are sold to consumers. First, inkjet cartridges and nozzle heads are thoroughly cleaned to ensure that printer ink will flow uniformly. Next, the empty cartridges are refilled and the internal atmospheric pressure within the cartridge is tested to rule out any possibility that the cartridge leaks. The inks used for refilling must match the specifications of the OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer) to ensure that the print head does not get clogged or otherwise damaged.

Next, the electronic circuitry is checked to make sure it operates correctly, and the remanufactured printer ink cartridge is subjected to an actual print test. Only after all systems have been tested and found good to go are remanufactured printer ink cartridges sold to customers.

Types of Printer Ink Cartridges

Until recently, there were two main types of printer cartridges: black ink cartridges and color cartridges containing cyan, magenta and yellow inks. This led to wasted ink since typically users would run out of one ink before the others, necessitating the replacement of the entire cartridge while there was still ink in it.

With the increasing popularity of specialized photo printers, printers have begun using separate cartridges for different color inks.

Thermal Inkjet Printers

Most inkjet printers designed for the hobbyist and small business markets use thermal inkjet technology. The ink reservoir of the cartridge contains a heating element and a resistor plate. These are the electronic circuits that are tested when the unit is refurbished.

When the printer begins the printing process, electric current flows through the heating element, causing an air bubble to form. This air bubble is then ejected from the nozzle in the form of a tiny droplet of ink. The typical inkjet printer produces 300 ink droplets per printed inch.

Many photographers prefer inkjet printers for reproducing colored images from digital photographs because they produce more saturated hues.

Problems with Thermal Inkjet Printers

The heating elements in inkjet cartridges can burn out easily. This is one of the things checked most carefully when a printer ink cartridge is refurbished for resale. Unheated ink can also bring the temperature of the heating element down, resulting in a decreased ink level in the reservoir and a print head that clogs and sputters.

The Advantages of Remanufactured Printer Ink Cartridges

Recycling empty inkjet cartridges so they can be reused is an economical as well as ecologically friendly choice. Most inkjet cartridges can be refilled up to five times. The testing process that determines whether or not a printer ink cartridge is viable for resale is extremely thorough, and cartridges that are unsafe or inefficient will not pass.

Logos and brand names of manufacturers such as HP, Canon, Epson, Xerox, Samsung, Apple, Brother, Dell, IBM and others are registered trademarks of their respective owners. All references to brands are solely made for the purpose of illustrating compatibility of toner and ink cartridges. Their use on does not imply endorsement or association by respective owners.