Why do Images Fade on Thermal Paper?

Thermal_PaperStandard POS grade thermal papers use dye and coreactant technology to form an image. The combination is slightly sensitive to ultraviolet (UV) light and may exhibit some image decline with extended exposure to office light or shorter exposure to intense UV light. The stability of the image will depend upon the degree to which the image was originally developed, the individual product design, the intensity of the UV light and the character of UV (percent of UV range in light source).

Since standard POS grade thermal paper is sensitive to ultraviolet light, it must be stored properly to encourage fade resistance. Thermal documents should be stored in a dark place at a relative humidity between 45% and 65% and a room temperature below 77°F (25°C). If these conditions are met and the recommended equipment is used to create the thermal documents, the images should remain legible for at least five to seven years.

In addition to UV light, exposure to the following materials may lead to image degradation and should therefore be avoided:

  • Organic solvents (i.e. Alcohols, Ketones, Esters, and Ethers)
  • Cleaning Fluids
  • Plasticizers
  •  Petroleum Solvents
  • Wet-type diazo copy paper
  • Carbon papers
  • Castcoated papers
  • Papers containing tributal phosphate
  • Dissimilar thermal systems
  • Carbonless papers
  •  Ammonia
  • Certain Oils
  • Water (prolonged exposure)

Thermal paper comes in a variety of grades. We offer a plethora of paper grades to meet your needs and combat image life issues. Just let us know how we can help you!

About the author: Prior to founding POS Supply Solutions in 1999, Stephen Enfield was Director of Sales at MICROS, the world's leading developer of enterprise applications serving the hospitality and specialty retail industries. His 10 years at MICROS coupled with his experience at POS Supply Solutions gives Stephen over two decades of experience in the Point of Sale industry, working with large multi-national accounts as well as small business accounts.

For more on thermal paper and other supplies visit:   http://www.possupply.com

 Other educational articles:
History of the Bar Code
Helpful Barcode Resources From the GS1Website
CodeREADr Turns Iphone 4 into Barcode Scanner
Scan This Barcode Article, Will You?
Barcode labels for an exceptionally small space!
Why do Images Fade on Thermal Paper?
Bar Code labels - make your own or buy pre-printed?
How to Put Barcodes on Your Products