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

In order to make an liquid developer it is necessary to disperse toner pieces that contain at least one resin and some coloring ingredients in an insulating fluid. Toner particles are composed of a shell-like core. The first resin particles containing one resin are joined or covered by another resin particle that contain a second resin. Nigroine is the agent that colors. The toner particles should not contain a lower amount of nigrosine than 1 mass%, and no more than 20 mass%. Equations (1) through (2) are satisfied with the second resin. Equations (1) through (2) demonstrate that x is the number 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

The invention described hereinabove relates to the liquid developer.

2. Description of Related Art

The powdery developer, commonly known as toner, is utilized for a long time in the production of images for an electrophotography type. A powdery developer can produce images with high density, even when the amount of the coloring agent is less than 100 mass% of the resin. This is due to the size of the pigment grows (such 5 microns or more) to prevent scattering.

However, with a liquid developer, since toner particles are dispersed in an insulating liquid, toner particles will be stopped from scattering in the atmosphere even when a particle size of the particles is decreased. A liquid developer can have smaller toner particles for a better quality image. A smaller particle size indicates that a high-quality image is more likely. So, the contents of the color agent must increase. When the quantity of the coloring agent is increased, the viscoelasticity of a resin contained within the toner particles gets greater (a filler effect) and can cause deterioration in fixability of thetoner particles and resultant lowering 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 how to improve the fixability of images by forming an image with a water-clear layer on top of a color toner image once it has been created. It also describes an increase in the glossiness of images by using the amount of transparent.

Japanese Laid-Open Patent Publication No. 10-207130 describes a method for creating a smooth surface for an image with gloss. This publication explains how you can cover the image’s output surface with an organic polysiloxane-based copolymer. It is made by adding a vinyl-based copolymer derived from a vinyl compound to it and drying it.

In accordance with the procedure described in Japanese Laid-Open Patent Publication No. 2002-202645, a system for development for the creation of a water-clear layer is required to be added to an image-making apparatus. This makes it difficult to reduce the size of an image-forming apparatus.

The Japanese Laid Open Patent Publication No. 10-207130 provides the method. The use of liquids is to increase the gloss of an image’s output. Therefore, blur, displacement or other similar issues with an image could be caused by.

The present invention was developed in view of such aspects and its goal is to enhance the glossiness of an image without causing an increase in size and complexity of an image formation apparatus or causing blurring displacement, blur, or similar of an image.

The present invention permits the dispersion of toner particle that include at least one resin and an agent for coloring in an insulation liquid to form an liquid developer. Toner particles consist of a shell-like structure, in which first resin particles that contain a first epoxy resin are covered or attached by second resin particles which contain another resin. The coloring agent contains nigrosine. A nigrosine content in the toner particles must be not lower than 1 mass percent and not more than 20 mass %. Equations (1) through (2) are satisfied by the second resin. 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 colorant is usually made up of carbon black and nigrosine. It is recommended to ensure that the quantity of carbon black present in the toner particles does not exceed 15 mass% and not more than 50 mass percent.

It is preferable that the volume-average size of toner particles is no less than 0.5.mu.m and not more than 5.mu.m.

The above-mentioned and other features, features, aspects and benefits of the present invention will be more obvious from the following detailed description of the invention when read together with the drawings accompanying it.

Click here to view the patent on USPTO website.

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