How to Prevent Fading of Thermal Paper Receipts

The use of thermal paper among businesses has gained popularity because it produces high quality and long lasting printouts.

Every day you probably do a transaction with a business that makes use of thermal paper, like withdrawing money from an ATM, or receiving a receipt.

Thermal papers are coated with a mixture of dye and chemicals, fluoran leuco dye and octadecylphosphonic acid. When the surface of the paper is heated, the coating reacts to the heat until it changes color. The coating solidifies after being removed from heat, thus preserving the mark made on the paper. Thermal paper printouts can last a long time when taken care of because the printer paper is highly sensitive to heat and chemicals.

Here are some tips to prevent thermal paper from fading:

Go with extra coating – If your business uses thermal paper and you want to make sure that all transactions are preserved for a long time, you should purchase original thermal paper with extra coating. The extra coating protects the original coating from reacting to heat and chemicals, thus preserving your printouts. Other than reducing fading, here are some other benefits of using a protective coating:

  • Protection from exposure to UV light, oils, chemicals, water, fats, grease, and other external elements.
  • Easy on the printer head. It prevents residue from the thermal paper coating from sticking on the printer head.
  • Provides a clearer image because it can focus the print head heat on the active surface.

Avoid touching the surface of the printout – Touching the surface where the image or text is printed on leaves fingerprint impressions that affects the longevity of your document. Avoid this by allowing a few seconds or minutes to let the coating dry properly.

Avoid friction – place your thermal papers in a safe place and avoid friction on its surface because it scratches the coating and may damage the image and fading may occur.

Keep away from chemicals and other elements – While having an extra coating helps reduce fading and adds protection, it is better to keep them away from such elements.

Whether you are in the business of issuing transactions on thermal paper or you are an end user, it is important to take care of your receipts and transactions unless you already have no use for them. Keep receipts and other thermal paper transactions in a safe place for future reference like tax season.



This Article is written by John C Arkin.


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