MEMOBIRD has a similar size to a receipt printer. So, will it work with any thermal receipt paper roll? On this article, we'll explain to you what you need to know about thermal paper, how to choose the right paper to get the best printing quality, and how to store properly to keep the images from fading. Let's get started!
What is Thermal Paper?
The thermal paper contains a transparent dye that changes to a color, usually black when heated. The paper consists of two or three layers:
- A substrate is the media which can be paper or a synthetic substance, such as polypropylene.
- A coating which contains the transparent dye mixed with a developer. This part is crucial to producing the color on thermal paper.
- An optional top coating that protects the printed thermal paper from environmental conditions that degrade the image. Some thermal papers with a top coating, while some others without a top coating.
The Benefits of Top Coating
- Resistance to discoloration of the thermal paper caused by exposure to sunlight
- Resistance to substances including water, oils, and grease
- Resistance to fading of the image caused by exposure to high temperatures
- Protects the dye from damage during handling
- Increased archival storage for up to 25 years
Comparison of Paper With & Without Top Coating
*Over a one-week period, the high-quality thermal papers are tested for its degradation from plasticisers (Source: Brother Industries, Ltd)
FACT #1 Not all thermal papers are the same. Thermal paper with top coating will have a better durability.
Types of Thermal Paper
|Standard Grade||Premium Grade|
|Without top coating||With top coating|
|Available in paper material||Available in paper material and synthetic material|
|Low tear resistance, low durability, and low resistance to water||High tear resistance and high durability as well as excellent resistance to water|
|Around 80-90 microns thick||Around 90-100 microns thick|
|Readable for 7 to 20 years under proper storage conditions||
Readable for 20 to 25 years under
proper storage conditions
FACT #2 Premium grade thermal paper can last much longer and more durable than standard grade thermal paper
What Affects The Printing Quality
- The heat generated by the thermal printer. Different thermal printers generate different amounts of heat. If there's not enough heat, the images won't be fully developed, and then they may fade, sometimes very quickly. The heat can be adjusted on the printer density setting.
- The thermal printer's printing speed. Print speed may also affect image quality. Images printed at higher speeds have lower image contrast than images printed at slower speeds, and also compromise the full development of the image, therefore increasing the possibility of fading.
- The paper's heat sensitivity. Some papers require higher heat to produce the images which also resists fading when exposed to high temperatures.
Source: Brother Industries, Ltd
The best choices for use in an extremely high-temperature environment are papers C and D. They maintain excellent image quality at 91°C because they have lower heat sensitivity.
- The environment condition
- In cold temperatures, a high-energy thermal printer and thermal paper that images at low heat is the best choice because the contrast of the image is highly affected by the heat.
- High humidity environment may cause the paper to contain moisture. The printer must produce enough heat to dry the paper or use papers with a top coating that are less likely to absorb moisture.
FACT #3 To get high contrast and fading resistance printing, matching the heat printer produced and the heat the paper requires to fully develop the images is crucial
How to Store Thermal Paper Properly
To help to keep the images from fading and last longer, store printed thermal paper in paper folders, envelopes, or boxes. Do not use folders, binders, or boxes made from plastic that contains plasticisers. For example, PVC folders
contain plasticisers. Plasticisers or other chemicals in the plastic may interact with thermal dye, causing it to fade.
Then, store paper folders in a file cabinet to protect them from exposure to light. Ultraviolet (UV) light can discolor thermal paper and cause the printed image to fade.
Source: Brother Industries, Ltd
Another test simulates the degradation that results from leaving the printed thermal paper on a vehicle’s dashboard for three months.
You can see that different thermal paper samples have a significant difference in their endurance against the daylight exposure.
FACT #4 Your paper choice can make a big difference whether your printing will last long or not
Choose a dry, cool storage area. The relative humidity should be between 45 and 65 percent. The temperature should be below 25°C. Make sure the surrounding air does not contain vapors from alcohol, cleaners, petroleum products, or other chemicals.
How to Choose the Right Thermal Paper for MEMOBIRD
When choosing thermal paper, you need to know how much thermal energy the thermal printer can produce, how much heat the paper requires to fully develop the images, and the environment condition.
So then, to answer the ultimate question, will any thermal paper roll work with MEMOBIRD? Yes, as long as the size fit. But you may not get the most optimum printing quality.
To help you get the best printing quality with MEMOBIRD, we have developed a thermal paper that matches with MEMOBIRD thermal energy and has the right heat sensitivity for normal room temperature operation.