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The drum within a laser printer is responsible for transferring the desired image and/or text, along with toner, to the paper. It is often referred to by several different names such as the image drum, imaging unit, drum unit or photoreceptor drum.
For this process to occur, the drum receives a positive charge from the corona assembly. A laser moves over the drum to create a negative charge where the desired images and/or text will appear. A paper is then fed by the pickup rollers and passes the corona wire for a negative charge that will draw the toner from the cartridge. Once the toner hits the drum, it adheres to the positively charged areas to create text and/or images on the page.
The imaging unit is written on by a laser for every print that goes through the printer. This causes a lot of wear on the imaging unit, so it must be replaced after a certain amount of pages. The drum unit will begin to show signs of wear by printing out black spots and/or lines onto the pages. Images will also be lighter than normal. It is essential to replace the imaging unit to avoid full replacement of the printer.
Also, some manufacturers include drum units within the toner cartridges. With these cartridges, you are replacing the drum unit every time you change the toner cartridge. The amount of prints that the drum will last depends on the printer. Some can print 10,000 pages while others can output 25,000. Refer to your printerís manual for specific information on your printerís imaging unit.