Have you ever taken out a receipt to make a return and noticed that it's starting to fade, or worse yet has become completely unreadable? Do you wonder why this happens? In order to avoid issues with your kiosk receipts, let's briefly discuss thermal paper and how it's exposure to UV light can affect a printed image.
Standard grade thermal papers use dye and coreactant technology to form an image. This produces an image that is sensitive to ultraviolet (UV) light. With extended exposure to office light or shorter exposure to intense UV light, the image may start to fade. The stability of the printed image will ultimately 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 grade thermal paper is sensitive to ultraviolet light, it must be stored properly. Thermal documents should be stored in a dark place at a relative humidity between 45 and 65 percent and a room temperature below 77 degrees. If these conditions are met and the equipment used to create the thermal documents is set to image the paper fully, 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 your kiosk receipt's image degradation and should therefore be avoided:
Organic solvents (i.e. Alcohols, Ketones, Esters, and Ethers)
Wet-type diazo copy paper
Papers containing tributal phosphate
Dissimilar thermal systems
Water (prolonged exposure)
If your kiosk application will be exposed to harsh conditions or your image needs to last, it would be worth looking into the different grades of thermal paper available in the market. Choosing the right paper will ensure your documents remain intact and readable during their useful life.
Prior to founding POS Supply Solutions in 1999, Stephen Enfield was director of Sales at MICROS. His 10 years at MICROS coupled with his experience at POS Supply Solutions gives Stephen more than two decades of experience in the Point of Sale industry.