Are you looking for “how to print on thermal paper using a normal printer?” If yes, then you are at the right place. But before we discuss this question it is important to have significant knowledge about what is a thermal paper and what makes it different from the normal paper. Therefore, in this blog, we are going to discuss the key differences between thermal printer paper and normal printer paper and then we will discuss whether you can print on thermal paper using a normal printer.
What is the difference between normal paper and thermal paper?
In this section of the blog, we will discuss the key differences between a thermal paper and a normal paper: –
- Thermal paper is a special type of paper that changes its color when it is exposed to heat and prints images without using ink. Usually, thermal paper is used in thermal printers and devices such as credit card terminals, cash registers, adding machines, etc.
- Thermal papers are manufactured by applying a special and heat-sensitive chemical coating on their surface. When the paper is heated above the melting point, the chemical dye reacts to the temperature and prints images. The printer head in the printing machine can heat the correct areas of the paper.
- Therefore, thermal papers are different from regular or bond papers that do not come with a heat-sensitive chemical coating. Apart from the above differences, you can also see a significant difference in the feel of both papers. Thermal paper has a slick surface, and it can be difficult to write on thermal paper with a pen. On the other hand, regular paper is ordinary copier paper.
- You can also differentiate between thermal printer paper and regular paper by scratching the paper surface with your fingernail. If it is thermal paper, it will produce a black mark on the surface of the paper.
How to check if it is thermal printer paper?
If you are planning to purchase thermal paper rolls for yourself, it is important for you to identify if you are purchasing the right thermal printer paper or not. If you are a first-time buyer, it can be quite tricky for you to identify the real thermal paper. Therefore, in this section, we are going to discuss a few of the easiest and most successful ways to identify the thermal paper: –
Scratch with the fingernail
This is one of the easiest ways to check if it is thermal paper or regular paper. As we discussed in the previous section, thermal papers come with a chemical coating on their surface. When you scratch the surface of the paper with your fingernail or a sharp object, it produces heat and the thermal paper can show black marks on its surface. Hence, this is how you can identify the thermal paper and differentiate it from regular zebra printer paper.
Moreover, in order to ensure that you purchase the right thermal paper, you should conduct the scratch test on both sides and then check if it is showing black marks. If you do not see any black marks on the paper, it is not thermal paper.
Observe and feel the surface of the paper
Another easy way to identify a thermal printer paper is by observing the paper’s surface. You can compare the paper with a receipt paper for a regular printer or carbonless paper. The thermal paper has a smoother and shinier surface. However, you should also keep in mind that some bond papers also have a smooth surface.
Conduct a test on thermal printer
The best way to identify whether it is a thermal paper or not is to conduct a test on the thermal paper. As we know that thermal paper reacts with heat to produce images. Therefore, if you insert a normal printer paper into the thermal paper, it will not produce any images because they do not have the heat-sensitive chemical coating on their surface. Moreover, if the paper produces images with the thermal printer, it is thermal printer paper.
Thermal paper printing quality
Thermal papers are famous for their versatility, durability, and outstanding printing quality. Moreover, let’s go through a few of the most common benefits that you get with thermal paper printing before discussing how to print on thermal paper using a normal printer: –
Clear prints – Thermal printing offers clear prints, which makes it easily readable.
High-resolution prints – You get high-resolution prints with thermal printer paper.
Double-sided print – You can purchase double-sided thermal papers and print the information on both sides which will ultimately cut the cost.
Get Colored prints – Thermal papers are also available in different colors. Therefore, you can choose the color based on your requirement.
Get customized paper – You can also get a customized thermal paper from any reputed or reliable thermal paper manufacturer and supplier.
How to print on thermal paper using normal paper?
As we mentioned in the previous sections of this blog, thermal papers have a special coating on their surface formulated to change their color when exposed to heat. This is why it does not print images or text on paper. Therefore, images produce on thermal paper through the thermal printing process.
The image is produce by passing the thermal paper over a print head consisting of tiny electrically heat elements. The chemical coating on the thermal paper turns black in the areas where it is heated and produces the image.
This is why it is not advised to use a regular printer to print on thermal paper since thermal paper is specially designed to work in thermal printers that use heat instead of ink.
In this blog, we have discussed the important information about thermal papers that you must know if you are going to purchase thermal paper rolls for your business. Apart from discussing “how to print on thermal paper using the normal printer,” we have also discussed the difference between normal printer paper and thermal printer paper and how to identify the difference between the two.