What is the direct thermal paper label?

Thermal paper is also known as thermal fax paper, thermal recording paper and thermal copy paper. Thermo sensitive paper is a kind of processing paper. Its manufacturing principle is to coat a layer of "thermo sensitive coating" (thermo sensitive discoloration layer) on high-quality base paper. Although there are more than ten kinds of chemicals used in the discoloration layer, there are at least the following compounds: colorless dye, which has a wide range of varieties, the most commonly used one is fluorescent compound; the developer accounts for less than 20%, the commonly used ones are biphenyl and p-hydroxybenzoic acid; the sensitizer accounts for less than 10%, including benzene sulfonamide compounds; the filler accounts for less than 50%, and the commonly used one is calcium carbonate (micro Particles); adhesives account for less than 10%, such as polyvinyl acetate; stabilizers, such as biphenyl phthalate; lubricants, etc. Therefore, the process is difficult and the technical requirements are high.

General Purpose Direct Thermal
Direct thermal labels do not require a printing ribbon. This type of label has a special heat-activated layer where a black print image is formed when heat from the print head is applied.

Eliminating a printing ribbon makes for easier media loading and a lower cost per label.

Note: Direct thermal labels are primarily used for short term use. They will eventually fade or

brown with age and will turn black if exposed to heat or strong sunlight.

Direct Thermal PaperThese affordable direct thermal paper labels are appropriate

for general-purpose labeling applications.

Direct Thermal PlasticThese synthetic direct thermal labels offer better durability,

longer-lasting print and resistance to abrasion, moisture,

and chemicals.

Print variable information on demand with direct thermal paper labels from Crystal-Code. Utilizing chemically treated material that turns black when exposed to a thermal print head; direct thermal imprint able paper labels do not require ink, toner or ribbons. They offer an affordable solution for applications that require labels to be printed and applied to items quickly. Backed with an all-temperature adhesive, our direct thermal paper labels are produced on white paper stock with a high sensitivity thermal coating. Text or images are printed in black and white but can fade when overexposed to heat and light.




Direct thermal label: as the communication carrier of the words and figures on the fax machine, it is used as fax paper; as the recording materials in medical and measuring system, such as ECG drawings, thermal instrument recording paper, etc.; as the printing paper applied to Internet terminals; as for commercial activities, it is used to make trademarks, signs (POS), etc., of which fax paper accounts for the largest proportion.

The production principle of the direct thermal paper label is to coat the particle powder on the common paper base, which is composed of colorless dye phenol or other acid substances, separated by the film. Under the heating condition, the film melts and the powder mixes to produce the color reaction. The color handwriting on the thermal paper is unstable and easy to fade, which makes the content of the document difficult to identify.

The commonly used lottery tickets are made of direct thermal paper. Ordinary direct thermal paper is not suitable for long-term preservation, but good direct thermal paper can be preserved for 30 years or even longer.

A variety of applications can benefit from direct thermal imprinted paper labels, including:

  • Grocery stores
  • Shipping and receiving departments
  • Meat processing industries
  • Pharmacies
  • Home offices and small businesses
  • Retail stores
  • Warehouses


Quality identification

  1. Appearance: if the paper is very white, it means that the protective coating and thermal coating of the paper are unreasonable. If too much fluorescent powder is added, the better paper should be slightly green. The paper finish is not high or looks uneven, indicating that the paper coating is uneven. If the paper looks strong reflected light, it is also added too much fluorescent powder, the quality is not good.


  1. Fire baking: the method of fire baking is also very simple. Use a lighter to heat the back of the paper. If the color on the paper is brown after heating, it indicates that the thermal formula is not reasonable, and the storage time may be relatively short. If there are small stripes or uneven color blocks on the black part of the paper, it indicates that the coating is uneven. The paper with better quality should be black green (with a little green) after heating, and the color block should be even, and the color will gradually fade from the center to the surrounding.

  1. Comparison and identification of sunlight exposure: smear the printed paper with a fluorescent pen and put it in the sun (this can accelerate the reaction of thermal coating to light). Which paper blackens the fastest means the shorter the storage time.