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PergafastTM Color Developer for Thermal Papers

Direct thermal printing is widely used by industries, retailers and consumers because it does not use ink to make an image and allows for variable data printing. As a result, it doesn’t require ink cartridges or toner. The only consumable needed for direct thermal printing is thermal paper, a specialty paper coated with chemicals — color formers and developers — that change color when exposed to heat.

As part of its colorant capabilities, Solenis offers a color developer, marketed under the brand name Pergafast™, for thermal papers. This innovation offers papermakers a viable alternative to bisphenol A (BPA), a chemical considered to be an endocrine disruptor. In fact, Pergafast™201 was the first color developer on the market that was both BPA-free and non-phenolic.

Pergafast™ 201 is a versatile color developer that can be used in all top-coated and non-top-coated grades of thermal paper. It produces high-quality, stable images and provides excellent resistance to heat and water, as well as oils, fats and plasticizers. As a result, it has earned a reputation as the go-to color development solution for a wide range of applications, including point-of-sale receipts, tickets, tags, labels and bank statements.

How Color Developers Work

Thermal paper (also known as heat-sensitive recording media) is made by applying a thermally reactive layer on top of a base paper. Color developers are a key component of this thermosensitive layer. The other components are:

  • Color formers, which are leuco dyes (colorless but become colored when reacted)
  • Sensitizers, which reduce the melting point of the color former/developer mixture
  • Binders, which adhere the coating to the paper

During printing, the thermal head of the printing unit pulses heat to the paper, which causes the components to melt, triggering the transfer of a proton from the color developer to the leuco dye. When the leuco dye receives the proton, it transforms chemically, changing from its colorless (i.e., leuco) form to its colored form, which, in most cases, is black.

More Information

If you have a question about Pergafast™ 201 color developer for heat-sensitive recording media or if you would like to have technical advice on how this color developer can be used in your formulation, ask a Solenis expert today.

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