Qualities And Methods to Understand Thermal Paper and Bond Paper


At one point in time, it was thought that having paper records was a concept of the past, and most records would be available in digital formats. However, the usage of paper rolls in the service and retail industry has proven it wrong. However, there is an increased preference for digital records in purchases and sales, the requirement of paper coated with heat-sensitive or pressure-sensitive paper rolls. Due to their uniqueness, they are quite popular with the retail and service industry. With this guest post, you will learn about bond paper, thermal paper and what makes them different from each other.

What is Bond Paper?

Bond paper is a durable form of standard paper commonly used in electronic printing in machines like desktop printers, copiers, and other related systems. The main use of bond paper is for documentation and business forms, letterheads, and much more. Due to its composition having cotton rag fibers in the range of 20% to 100%, it is long-lasting and can create more detailed images. Two types of bond papers are available:

  1. One-ply bond paper, and
  2. Two-ply bond paper

A ply is referred to as a layer of paper. Therefore one-ply bond paper has a single layer of paper, and two-ply paper is made with two layers. The one-ply bond paper will transfer the ink onto the paper directly. There is another ply of bond paper with three different plies and is most commonly used for official purposes in hotels or other official areas. However, the two-ply bond paper has a direct transfer on the first layer and an indirect transfer to the second layer due to the presence of microencapsulated dye at the back of the paper.

What is Thermal Paper?

Thermal paper is a special form of paper coated with heat-sensitive chemicals, making it possible for inkless printing. The coating turns dark when exposed to heat and creates images or text on the paper. Thermal paper has a glossy appearance and is highly sensitive to friction, and is used in thermal printers like POS systems and cash registers.

The main attributes of printing on thermal paper are that the print is high quality, can be easily understood, and stored for a long time according to conditions. There are different variations of the heat-sensitive chemicals depending on the manufacturer’s requirements applied to thermal paper. Also, a variant of thermal receipt paper is safer due to the exclusion of BPA in the creation process.

Layers of a thermal paper

A thermal receipt paper is often composed of chemicals that react to heat and create a text or image.  Each coating serves a different purpose and is unique from the next layer. What follows is the name of each layer, the mix of chemicals, and an explanation of each layer:

1)   Substrate layer

The substrate layer is a regular sheet of paper used as standard paper in ink printers or for writing purposes.

2)   Baselayer

The base layer is the layer that binds the elements created from products like alkali salt, starches, and gelatin. Therefore, heat moves through a thermal receipt paper due to the presence of the base layer.

3)   Active layer

An active layer makes the chemicals in the base layer reactive to heat from the thermal paper printer machine.

4)   Additional protective layer

The additional protective layer in the thermal paper roll aids in slowing down the chances of fading due to environmental causes, and not all thermal paper manufacturers provide this coating in their thermal paper rolls.

Difference between Thermal Paper and Bond Paper

Although bond paper and thermal paper are refined versions of the standard printer paper, they have a few differences that make them useful in two completely different industries. The differences in both papers will be easier to understand with the next few points.

1) Bond paper rolls are used in impact printers with a printer ribbon, creating images or text on bond paper. On the other hand, thermal receipt paper is used with special thermal paper printers that create images or text through heat.

2) Thermal copy paper has a glossy appearance and is quite sensitive to temperature and heat. However, bond paper is immune to heat and closer to standard paper in appearance.

3) Bond paper has a higher fiber content than thermal paper. Due to the high fiber content, bond paper is more commonly used in offices and as stationery. However, thermal paper is used at cash registers, POS terminals, and food establishments’ back areas to create customers’ orders. 

4) Thermal paper rolls are a low-cost option due to the absence of ink cartridges or printers that need ink ribbons to print text or images. In comparison, bond paper is available in three different plies, making it usable in hospitality and retail workplaces.  

5) Storing bond paper rolls is easy as they can be stored in a common storage area. However, thermal receipt paper is stored in a dark, cool area that does not get affected due to heat or temperature changes.

In Conclusion:

Depending on the work area, you can use bond paper rolls or thermal receipt paper to fulfill your needs. Thermal paper is more commonly used at POS stations, retail cash machines, and service industries. On the other hand, bond paper is more prevalent in the hospitality industry or businesses that need financial transaction records in single, dual, and triple copies for further requirements.

Since thermal and bond papers serve two different needs and make it easier for people to choose from thermal or bond paper depending on their requirements and the industry they are working in. Also, thermal receipt paper is financially better as there is no need for ink and a heated printhead on a thermal paper printer is enough to create clear legible prints.

Now that you have understood the major differences between thermal paper and bond paper and their specific usage areas, choose the best-suited paper type for your business and ensure that you have satisfied customers.