KONICA MINOLTA, INC. (Chiyoda-Ku, Tokyo, JP)

The liquid developer can be created by dispersing the toner particles which contain at least one resin and a coloring agent in an liquid that acts as an insulator. Toner particles are composed of a shell-like core. First resin particles containing one resin are joined or covered by another resin particle which contain two resins. The coloring agent contains nigrosine. The toner particles shouldn’t contain nigrosine that is less than one mass% or higher than 20 mass percent. The second resin meets Equations (1) to (2) below. Equations (1) through (2) demonstrate that x is the molecular mass that is the average for the second resin, and y is the amount of urethane groups (mass percent) in the second resin. -0.00003x+2.03.ltoreq.y.ltoreq.-0.00003x+6.95 Equation (1) 10000.ltoreq.x.ltoreq.60000 Equation (2)

1. Field of the Invention

This invention concerns a liquid developer.

2. Description of Related Art

A powdery developer (what is referred to as toner) is typically used to develop an apparatus to create images that is an electrophotography type. The powdery developer is able to create images with high density if the content of the coloring agent is less than 100 masspercent of the resin. This is due to the size of the pigment grows (e.g. 5.mu.m) to keep the scattering from occurring.

However when using a liquid developer, as toner particles are dispersed in an insulating liquid, toner particles can be prevented from scattering in atmosphere even when a particle size of toner particles is made smaller. Thus,since a liquid developer can possess a smaller size than the toner particles a high-quality image is produced. A smaller size of the particle means that a better image is more likely. Thus, the amount of the coloring agent will increase. When the quantity of the coloring agent increases, viscoelasticity of a resin contained within the toner particles gets more elastic (a filler effect) that can lead to decrease in the fixability of toner particles, resulting in a decrease in clarity of an image.

Japanese Laid Open Patent Publication No. 2002-202645 describes a way to increase glossiness of an image. This publication describes a method for improving fixability without impairing the uniformity of an image making a water-clear layer of toner on an image with a color toner once created, and describing an the enhancement of gloss in an image with a quantity of attached transparent toner.

Publication No. 10207130, Japanese Laid Open Patent Publication 10-207130 describes a method for providing a surface of an image that has gloss. This publication describes how to the output of an image with an organic polysiloxane copolymer. It is made by adding a vinyl-based or copolymer from a vinyl compound to it, and then drying it.

With the method described in Japanese Laid-Open Patent Publication No. An image formation apparatus should include a system for developing a water-clear layer. It is therefore difficult to reduce the size of an image formation apparatus.

With the method described in Japanese Patent Publication No. The use of liquids is to increase the clarity of the final image. Thus, distortion, blur or other similar issues with an image may be caused.

The invention is made with these aspects in mind, and an object thereof is to improve glossiness of an image without causing an increase in size and complication of an image-forming apparatus or without causing blur or displacement of an image.

A liquid developer as per the present invention is obtained by dispersing toner particle containing at least a resin as well as a coloring agent within an insulating liquid. Toner particles possess an internal shell structure in which first resin particles that contain one resin are attached to or cover surfaces of second resin particles which contain a second resin. Nigroine is the coloring agent. A nigrosine content in toner particles is not lower than 1 mass percent and not higher than 20 mass%. The second resin is in compliance with Equations (1) to (2) below. In Equations (1) to (2) below, x represents a number average molecular weight of the second resin and y represents a urethane group concentration (mass %) in the second resin.-0.00003x+2.03.ltoreq.y.ltoreq.-0.00003x+6.95 Equation (1) 10000.ltoreq.x.ltoreq.60000 Equation (2)

The preferred coloring agent is made up of carbon black or nigrosine. It is recommended that the total amount of nigrosine and carbon black within the toner particles is not less than 15 mass % and not more than 50 mass %.

It is preferred that the volume average particle size of the toner particles is not smaller than 0.5.mu.m, and not more than 5.mu.m.

The above-mentioned and other features characteristics, features, and benefits of the present invention will be more obvious from the following detailed description of the invention when viewed in conjunction with the accompanying drawings.

Click here to view the patent on USPTO website.

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