What is Thermal Paper?


Do you work in a warehouse or retail store? Even if you don’t, do you have to deal with receipts often? If so, you know that there are different types of receipts and ways to print them.

Thermal paper is one of the most common types of paper used today because it isn’t as expensive as other types of receipt paper, and it is also easy to read in any lighting condition. 

There are many places where thermal paper is used, but not everyone understands why it is so widely used. This article will go into depth about thermal paper and its benefits over other types of receipt paper. If you have ever struggled to understand thermal paper, the following guide will help you.

What is Thermal Paper?

Thermal paper is designed to transfer an image from a printer to a piece of paper. The paper is heat-sensitive, making it easy for images on the page to be transferred to the paper.

As a result, it is often most cost-effective to use thermal paper because there is no need for ink or toner. Thermal paper works similarly to how a printing press works. However, the paper is run through a machine that heats it to the point of being easily transferable to other materials.

Often, this paper is used as receipt paper because it can be easily stored and used later on. To better understand thermal paper, it’s essential to know what the paper is made from. While there are many different types of thermal paper, the most common types are made from cotton and synthetic materials.

How is Thermal Paper Made?

Thermal paper is made by coating a thin layer of non-woven cloth with a thin iron oxide film. Iron oxide is the primary pigment used in thermal paper. Along with iron oxide, several other pigments provide specific coloring and optical properties.

The non-woven cloth is usually made from polyester or cotton fabric. The iron oxide layer on thermal paper serves two purposes: it provides a layer of insulation that reduces heat loss to the outside air, and it serves as a heat-sensitive recording medium for the printing process.

Why Use Thermal Paper?

As you have probably noticed, thermal paper is most commonly used in retail stores. Here’s why:

  • It is cheaper than many other types of receipt paper.
  • It’s easier to use.
  • It can be recycled.
  • It is easy to scan.

For example, you will need an inkjet receipt printer to use inkjet receipt paper. As you can imagine, these printers aren’t cheap. On top of this, the paper may not be as durable as you would like it to be.

On the other hand, thermal paper is easy to use. All you need is a receipt printer, and you are good to go. You don’t need to worry about purchasing expensive ink or toner, either.

Thermal Paper Structure

Thermal paper is used in various industries, from food manufacturing to printing. But it’s most commonly associated with cash registers because it’s the paper used to record transactions and print receipts. It is essentially a flat piece of paper that can be laminated, folded, or stapled to make it appear thicker than it is.

Most thermal paper comes in rolls that are 30 inches wide. They’re inexpensive to purchase and offer better durability and resistance to tearing than other types of paper. They also come in a variety of colors and patterns.

Some food manufacturing companies may even opt for corrugated thermal paper instead of regular paper. This type of thermal paper looks much like cardboard and is lightweight, so it’s easy to transport. It’s also tear and water-resistant, making it perfect for use in areas where sanitation is an issue, like food production lines.

Thermal Paper Properties

Thermal paper has several advantages over regular paper, including the ability to be waterproof and tear-resistant. Unlike traditional paper, thermal paper is used in extreme temperatures without damage. Thermal paper is also used to print images with heat-sensitive ink, such as thermochromic ink. In addition, thermal paper can be written on with any pen or marker, making it ideal for reports and other documents. It is environmentally friendly because it does not require trees to be cut down to make it. 

The most common types of thermal paper are: 

  • Thermal transfer paper: transfers heat from a hot source to the paper’s surface.
  • Thermally fixed paper: is laid directly on a surface and absorbs heat from the source underneath.

The Advantages Of Thermal Paper

As we have discussed, thermal paper is cheaper than other types of receipt paper. However, there are a lot of other advantages that this type of paper has over other types. Here are a few of them.

It’s Reusable:

Thermal paper is easy to store and reuse. You don’t have to discard old receipts once they have been printed. Instead, you can keep them and reuse them when necessary.

It Has No Ink: 

The fact that thermal paper doesn’t use any ink makes it a more reliable source of information. Because there is no ink, there is less chance of the information on the receipt becoming smudged or illegible.

The Disadvantages Of Thermal Paper

Even though thermal paper is a common material used in retail stores, there are a few disadvantages that you should be aware of.

It Can Tear Easily: 

Because thermal paper uses cotton to transfer the image to the paper, it is pretty delicate. It can easily tear if you try to fold it up or make it fit into a small space.

It Can Lose Quality Over Time: 

Thermal paper lasts for a short time. This means that the information on it is not very long-lasting.

Summing it Up

Thermal paper is a common type of receipt paper that is used in retail stores. It is made from cotton and synthetic materials and is designed to be heat-sensitive. 

It is also cheaper than many other types of receipt paper and is easy to use, store and reuse. Compared to conventional paper, thermal paper provides several benefits, including the capacity to be waterproof and tear-resistant. 

Thermal paper, as opposed to regular paper, may be utilized in extremely hot or cold conditions without suffering damage. On top of this, the receipt is more reliable because no ink is used.

Looking to purchase thermal paper? Look no further! Here at Paper Rolls Plus, we have been In the paper business since 1985, and would be happy to help you with all of your thermal paper needs.