Direct thermal paper, a self contained printing system, has surface coatings applied with a chemical formula. In thermal printing we create an image through the direct transfer of heat (thermal energy) to reagents in thermal sensitive paper. The thermal head, consisting of a multitude of miniature heating elements distributed along its printing width, in the thermal printer transfers the heat to the thermal paper. Each of these small heating elements delivers the right amount of energy at the right time, creating individual points which together form the final image – text, graphs, bar codes, etc. A roller on the other side of the paper from the image side ensures that the thermal paper stays in constant contact with the thermal head.
The paper is a critical element in the thermal printing process if the user requires good quality images with the right amount of archivability. The energy level applied to the paper needs to be compatible with the sensitivity of the thermal paper used in an application. To help a user specify and select the correct grade of thermal paper the information below is a synthesis of data provided by a number of thermal paper manufacturers.