What is Thermal Paper Used For?

What is Thermal Paper Used For?

Retail, hospitality, and several other businesses rely on printing on a day-to-day basis to complete important tasks and serve customers. The most common types of printing in modern businesses are receipt and label printing. From retailers and hospitality to dining and even healthcare, many industries print labels and receipts with the help of a POS system.
But long gone are the days of traditional inkjet printers. Its slow print speed, higher maintenance cost, and low quality made business owners look for an alternative solution - thermal printing. Slowly but surely, thermal papers have replaced inkjet printing across many industries.
In this blog, we'll discuss the thermal paper and their uses in detail.

What is Thermal Paper?

Thermal papers are specially coated printing mediums that are widely used in thermal printers for receipt and label printing. The special chemical coating on the paper is heat-sensitive. When put inside a thermal printer, the paper comes into contact with the heat from the thermal printer's head. The chemical coating then undergoes a thermal reaction to create high-definition images. The high-quality image is produced in milliseconds - making it a faster and more reliable printing method than traditional inkjet printers.

Why Have Thermal Printing Replaced Inkjet Printing?

Business owners rely on either thermal printing or conventional printing.
Conventional printing dominated the industry half a century ago. It used printing ink to produce receipts on traditional bond papers. However, ink-based printing posed several challenges like slow printing, need for regular maintenance, constantly changing ink and cartridges, etc. This made entrepreneurs look for a more viable, efficient, and affordable option.
Thermal printing is today more popular and widely used than conventional printing. These papers rely on heat from a thermal printer to produce receipts and labels. Thermal paper rolls come in various sizes. These sizes are available to fit into different printers and serve varying purposes.
Unlike traditional bond papers, thermal papers are specially coated with many chemicals and compounds. We'll discuss the composition of thermal paper in detail below.

Composition of Thermal Papers

The specially coated chemicals on thermal papers make them different from traditional papers. Here are the layers of thermal paper:

  • Base Paper

The base paper is just like any other paper, made from wood pulp. Numerous chemicals are then coated on this paper to make them sensitive to heat from the thermal printer.

  • Pre-coat

Pre-coating is used on thermal papers to enhance their heat retention and reactivity. This layer also improves the quality of the paper by making it smooth and durable.

  • Thermal Coating

The last layer of coating on the paper is thermal coating. This layer consists of several chemicals that are susceptible to heat and react when coming into contact with the head of a thermal printer.
Leuco dyes are mixed with developers like Bisphenol-A and Bisphenol-S to create images. These dyes and developers are in the form of colorless powder on the paper. Thermal papers are also coated with sensitizers, which maintain the temperature required to trigger a thermal reaction.

What is Thermal Paper Used For?

  • Receipts

Thermal printing creates high-quality receipts that are crisp, clear, and legible. From retail outlets and grocery stores to restaurants and gas stations, receipt printing is the primary function of thermal paper.

  • Labels

Thermal papers are also widely used in the shipping and logistics industry for shipping labels, barcode labels, product labels, and more.

  • Event Tickets

Event ticketing and gaming also rely on thermal papers. Your movie tickets, concert tickets, and other event tickets are made from thermal papers owing to their fast print speeds that is essential to serve customers quickly.

  • Medical Imagery

Thermal papers are also used in the healthcare industry. They're used to produce patient reports in ECG machines, Ultrasound machines, and other patient monitoring systems.

Benefits of Thermal Papers

We have already established why thermal printing substituted conventional printing across industries. Let's discuss a few other benefits of thermal papers:

  • High-quality Printing

Businesses face high-volume printing demand every day. They need to print thousands of receipts, labels, and tickets - making it necessary to choose a high-quality medium.
Conventional printing often leads to low-quality prints with smears and smudges. This makes the print illegible and may also lead to poor customer experience. Correcting these smudges can be a time-consuming process. With thermal printing, you can be rest assured of precise and clear prints free from smears and smudges.

  • Faster Print Speed

Businesses like restaurants and QSRs need an efficient and fast printing method to serve their customers quickly. Any lag in their operations may reduce customer satisfaction due to longer wait times. Thermal printing creates high-quality images in a matter of milliseconds, thus increasing efficiency, speed, and customer experience.

  • Low-Cost Printing Alternative

Conventional printing needs ink to create labels and receipts. Thus, businesses need to spend additionally on procuring ink cartridges continuously to fulfill their printing needs. However thermal printing is an inkless technique that needs heat to print labels and receipts. This eliminates the need for ink cartridges, thereby directly contributing to your business's savings.
Additionally, thermal printers have fewer moving parts compared to traditional inkjet printers. As a result, thermal printers require less maintenance than their conventional counterparts - further improving cost efficiency for your organization.

  • Long-lasting Prints

Thermal papers have a long shelf life of up to 10 years. This means you can store your labels and receipts for a long time without worrying about degrading quality. Thermal papers are also more durable than traditional papers and can be stored easily in compact spaces.

Wrapping Up

Thermal papers are much more efficient than conventional papers in producing receipts, labels, tickets, and medical images. This printing method outscores ink-based printing in several aspects, making it a prime choice for many modern businesses. If you're still using conventional printing, switching to thermal printing will save you time and money while ensuring higher quality and faster prints.

Buy High-quality Thermal Paper from Master Distributors

Master Distributors is the leading wholesaler and distributor of POS products and accessories in Canada. We also have a stock of high-quality and affordable thermal paper rolls of all sizes to fulfill your business printing needs.
Contact our friendly team today to learn how thermal paper can significantly benefit your business.

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