Paper Roll Starter Guide: What is Thermal Paper?

Paper Roll Starter Guide: What is Thermal Paper?

Posted by POS Paper Roll on 15th May 2021

If you’re running a business, you’re most likely issuing receipts to customers. Receipts are important for both you and your client. Receipts help you monitor your transactions. You also refer to cash register receipts when conducting your own business audit.

Printed store receipts use thermal paper. It’s different to regular paper. This guide will cover everything you ought to know about thermal paper.

What is thermal paper

Thermal paper is regular paper coated with a mixture of dye and chemicals. The paper has various layers. There is a topcoat, the active coat, base coat, and substrate. Let’s quickly touch on each of these in turn:

  • Topcoat - the topcoat is a protective layer that protects the receipt paper from fading
  • Active Coat - the active coat is composed of chemicals that react to heat
  • Base Layer - the base layer is composed of a binding agent. The binding agent can be made of starch, gelatin, or alkali salts. The base layer conducts heat to the paper.
  • Substrate Layer - the substrate layer is the paper

When you heat the chemical coating above its melting point, the dye appears. The heat is generated from a thermal printhead. The dye appears where the thermal print head touches the paper.

Companies use thermal paper because it saves money. You need to buy ink cartridges for a regular printer, which expensive. Thermal receipt paper does away with the need to purchase ink cartridges.

How can you identify thermal paper?

You can identify thermal paper by scratching the paper with your fingernail. When you scratch the surface, a mark should appear. A mark will not appear when you scratch a piece of regular paper with your fingernail.

Another way you can identify the paper is the texture. The active coating of thermal paper gives it a slippery texture. Regular paper, on the other hand, will feel almost rough.

Can you use thermal paper in a regular printer?

You should not use thermal paper in a regular printer. Thermal paper is designed to be used in a thermal printer. It already has ink embedded in the active coating. Adding additional ink to the paper is unnecessary.

Equally, you should not use regular paper in a thermal printer. The paper is not designed for this type of printer. You might see slight burn marks on the paper, but nothing more.

Thermal paper and BPA?

Historically, thermal paper was coated with bisphenol A (BPA). The chemical is banned in some plastic products because of health risks. Relevant governing bodies like the European Food Safety Authority consider the presence of BPA in receipt paper to have no health risks.

If this is a concern, you can purchase BPA-free receipt paper. We only offer BPA-free receipt paper to customers.

What to Check Before Buying Thermal Paper Rolls

There are a few common sense things you need to consider before purchasing thermal paper rolls. Let’s quickly run through them below:

  • Size: The size of receipt paper you use in a store is standardized. Most stores use 3 ⅛ thermal rolls. If you’re unsure what you require, just Google what size paper your printer model uses.
  • Quantity: You should purchase receipt paper in bulk from a reputable thermal paper supplier. Store your paper in a cool, dark place.
  • Price: Thermal paper is cheap when you purchase it from a reputable wholesaler. Here is a list of the best thermal paper wholesalers in the US.

Do your due diligence before you go and make a purchase.

Wrapping Up

Thermal paper is the best material for your business receipts, whether those be a digital receipt or a gas pump receipt. You can print high-quality images and text cheaply using thermal receipt paper.

United Paper is one of the largest thermal paper wholesalers in the US. We offer free shipping on all orders and have multiple warehouses nationwide to ensure fast delivery. Head over to our homepage to check out our prices.