Selecting the right thermal receipt paper for your printing application is very important. The direct thermal material is engineered much differently than the standard paper used in dot matrix printers. It contains chemicals that allow the paper to produce an image once heat is applied to it, and there are many paper and synthetic formulations to choose from. While they look similar, the chemical makeup of each material affects its resistance to moisture, heat, and other external factors. The thickness of the paper and the lifespan of images printed on it also varies. All these attributes are very important to consider to ensure documents remain intact and readable during their useful life. Most documents look fine when they come out of the printer, but the true test is how they will hold up over their expected life span. When printed data is unreadable, problems with returns, service, warranties, and compliance can arise.

The following are six key considerations you should examine when you choose thermal receipt paper:

1. Heat

If exposure to extreme heat is a concern, choose a material that is heat-resistant. Receipt paper left in vehicles, for example, where temperatures can climb to higher than 150 degrees in the summer, can turn black and unreadable due to the chemicals in the paper reacting. To avoid this problem, some thermal materials are specially formulated to withstand higher temperatures.

2. Coating

All thermal papers have a base coat and a thermal coat, but not all have a topcoat. A topcoat provides an extra layer of protection against specific environmental exposure. Non-top-coated materials are acceptable for applications requiring limited resistance properties.

Premium coating thermal paper

Premium coating thermal paper can deliver black print image

3. Thickness

Thicker materials tend to be more durable and are perceived by customers as of higher quality. However, the thicker the material, the less paper per roll, resulting in fewer receipts that can be printed before the roll needs to be changed. For example, for the most popular paper roll size 80mm x 80mm, the length can vary from 50m to 88m if you use different thickness paper.

4. Smooth

The good thermal roll paper should be smooth on both the front and back. If you are buying not smooth paper, there will be dust when using it in the printing application, which will hurt the printer header.

5. Moisture

If your thermal receipt paper will be subjected to moisture, either because it will be exposed to the elements or stored in a wet or humid area, a paper with additional moisture resistance or a synthetic material will protect the receipt from degrading and becoming unreadable.

6. Archivability

The longer thermal paper needs to be referenced and stored, the more durable they need to be, and the more protection they require from heat, moisture, and other environmental factors. Storage is an important and often overlooked factor in a document’s lifespan. Make sure the material you choose is rated to meet your archiving requirements.

So above are six factors you must consider when you buy thermal receipt paper. Trust but verify is a prudent piece of advice for you, especially when you buy online.

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About the Author: Frank Ouyang

Frank Ouyang is the sales manager at Panda Paper Roll Company - a leading factory of thermal paper rolls, label rolls, and other print-related products in China. With extensive experience in the industry, Frank is an expert in thermal paper knowledge and enjoys sharing his insights and expertise with clients, helping them achieve their goals and maximize their success.

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