Thermal printing refers to digital printing that produces printed images by selective heating of thermochromic or thermal papers. These papers are coated with thermal chemicals that tend to change its color when exposed to heat. The chemicals applied on the thermal papers when exposed to heat changes its color so as to display the intended images. Unlike conventional ink-jet printers, thermal printing use chemically coated papers for printing different images. The chemicals applied on the thermal papers when exposed to heat changes its color so as to display the intended images. Different chemicals used for imaging in thermal printing include leuco dyes, sensitizers, developers and stabilizers. Leuco dyes are usually tri-aryl methane phthalide dyes or fluoran dyes.
Developers are leuco dyes in conjunction with organic acids. This is used to provide dark printing colors. Some of the suitable organic acids for thermal printing are phenols such as Bisphenol S (BPS) and Bisphenol A (BPA). Sensitizers are usually simple ether molecules such as 2-benzyloxynapthalene or 1, 2-bis-(3-methylphenoxy)ethane. These are used to facilitate mixing of chemicals and optimize colorization temperature so as to improve the printing quality. Stabilizers are complex multi-functional phenol acids that restrain the re-crystallization property of dyes and developers. These are often used to stabilize the printed images.
Thermal printing using chemicals is majorly used in machines for printing receipts, bills, lottery tickets and other labels. The specific combination of thermal printing chemicals used depends on the printing machine as well as the manufacturer. It can be a combination of waxes, dyes, inert pigments and anti-oxidants. When heat is applied to the coated places, a threshold temperature is reached making the paper darken in those spots. Thus, for optimum utilization of this ability of the thermal chemicals to color the paper darker, printing machines are used which integrate a print head. This print head facilitates the application of heat in the right places. The chemical coating turns into black in the heated areas producing an image. Thermal printing provides fast printing. Moreover, due to use of chemicals for printing, the printed images are highly clean and readable.
Thus, it is widely in demand for printing in different companies and retail stores. The low cost of maintenance and easy printing ability of a thermal printing makes it suitable for use in different applications including travelling tickets and is capable of printing a lot of receipts in a short span of time. Another important advantage of chemical based thermal printing is easy recycling of paper. The chemical coated on the printing paper has short life. The image printed using chemical thermal printing lasts for a few days and disappears after a specific period of time. Thus, due to easy recycling of printed papers, thermal printing using chemicals are expected to witness high demand in near future.
North America dominated the thermal printing market in 2013. However, the thermal printing market is expected to grow rapidly in Asia Pacific. Countries such as China, India and Malaysia are expected to witness exponential growth in the thermal printing market. Europe and RoW are also expected to witness substantial growth in the thermal printing market within the forecast period.
Some of the key manufacturers in the thermal printing market include APS, Bixolon, GSI Group, Micro Med Charts Manufacture Co. Private Limited and TSC Printers among others. There are a large number of small, medium and large scale manufacturers present across all geographies.
This research report analyzes this market on the basis of its market segments, major geographies, and current market trends. Geographies analyzed under this research report include
- North America
- Asia Pacific
- Rest of the World
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- Market growth drivers
- Factors limiting market growth
- Current market trends
- Market structure
- Market projections for upcoming years
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