Factors and Effects of Permanent Deformation in Printing Media

Document Type

Student Presentation

Presentation Date


Faculty Sponsor

Chad Watson


While laser jet printing technology has been used for decades, there remain issues with consistent media output; media deformation, such as curl, is often introduced during the printing process. This deformation can be affected by factors external to the printer, such as the two-sidedness of media properties and the environmental conditions under which the printer is operated, as well as factors related to the internal processes and configuration of the printer. The purpose of this project is to provide Hewlett-Packard (HP) with a quantitative study on the effects of media fiber orientation, filler content, and moisture loss on curl generated during the printing process. Several brands of paper were characterized and compared. Energy dispersive X-ray spectroscopy (EDS) showed a quantifiable difference in filler content between each side of a sheet, leading to contrasting curl behaviors. Tensile testing was performed to determine sample fiber orientation, showing a predominant machine direction bias. A hot bend test was used to observe the variance in curl seen between the two sides of a sheet, while samples were fed through a laser jet printer to observe in situ deformation to validate observations from hot bend testing. These tests indicated significantly different media properties based on sidedness and orientation, which can be correlated to resultant curl. This work will allow HP to engineer printers that counteract curl and produce consistent, high quality output using a variety of media types.

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