Thermal Paper: The Handy Receipt Paper

Receipts are either a blessing or a curse. On one hand, they can be kept in wallets or hung on refrigerators to track spending for budgeting purposes. On the other hand, receipts can also be a dreadful reminder of the not-so-budget-friendly lunch we might have had last weekend. Either way, the type of paper your receipt is printed on can determine how long you’ll actually want to keep the receipt. You see, receipts aren’t just printed on any standard sheet of paper. Most are documented on thermal paper. What is thermal paper? Well, to put it simply, thermal paper is a high-quality sheets of paper roll designed to provide a long-lasting, crisp, and clear print of purchasing information. Looking for a more in-depth analysis of thermal paper to make selecting the right product for your business’s cash registers easier? Read on.

 

Special Features

  • What sets thermal paper rolls apart from competitors is their coated texture made from a mixture of dye and chemicals. When the textured paper is heated above melting point, the dye reacts to the chemicals, causing a shift to a colored form.
  • Think of thermal paper as being similar to an onion. Both have multiple layers — except a thermal paper roll’s layers are a lot less messy and smelly.

Layers of Thermal Paper

  1. Substrate Layer: Nothing too complicated. This layer is just the paper.
  2. Base Layer: Serves as the binding element designed from starches, gelatin, and alkali salts. This layer has the superpower of allowing heat to transfer through the paper.
  3. Active Layer: The active layer’s job is to assist in making the paper react to heat.
  4. Protective Layer: Not all thermal papers contain this layer. Prevents the paper from fading.

Thermal Paper. Image of SINGLE-PLY THERMAL CASH REGISTER/POINT OF SALE RECEIPT ROLLS.

Thermal Paper vs. Bond Paper Rolls

Fun fact: Thermal paper has a twin it often gets mistaken for. This twin goes by the name of bond paper, and while it may look oddly similar to thermal paper rolls, the two are uniquely different. One of the easiest ways to tell the difference between rolls is to check the texture of the paper. Thermal rolls have a slick, glossy surface that is pretty difficult to write on with a pen, while bond paper rolls feel like ordinary copy paper.

Thermal Paper. Image of SINGLE-PLY THERMAL CASH REGISTER/POINT OF SALE RECEIPT ROLLS.

Finding the Right Printer for your Thermal Paper

To achieve the highest-quality images on your receipt, select a thermal printer with an energy level compatible with the sensitivity level of your thermal paper roll. How is energy level determined? By a combination of temperature and print speed.