From a materials viewpoint, the xerographic developability of a conductive developer is governed by a balancing of opposing controlling parameters, namely toner concentration, toner triboelectric charge-to-mass ratio, and developer conductivity. For an age-induced decline in developer conductivity, the resultant decline in developability can be offset through an increase in toner concentration/decrease in toner charge-to-mass ratio. However, because an increasing toner concentration depresses developer conductivity, a critical loss in conductivity will trigger repeated increases in toner concentration and will hence provoke an accelerating trend to failure. In certain cases, however, a toner concentration- runaway failure can occur, even though the developer remains highly conductive, and for such cases the developability failure appears to be driven by physical factors such as the increased texture and reduced fluidity of a development brush having enhanced carrier-to-carrier contacts.
Robert J. Nash, John T. Bickmore, W.H. Hollenbaugh, Cheryl L. Wohaska, "Xerographic Response of an Aging Conductive Developer" in Journal of Imaging Science and Technology, 1996, pp 347 - 353, https://doi.org/10.2352/J.ImagingSci.Technol.1996.40.4.art00013