3 1/8 Thermal Paper Rolls – The Complete Guide for 2023

thermal paper rolls


Image source: Free Vector | Free vector isometric shop receipt, paper payment bill (freepik.com)


3 1/8 thermal paper rolls are a specific paper product used widely in various industries. These rolls are particularly notable for their width, which measures 3 1/8 inches and is a standard size compatible with many printing devices.

Thermal paper, as the name suggests, is a special paper engineered to change color when exposed to heat. It’s coated with a mixture of a dye and a type of acid. When the paper passes through a thermal printer, parts of the coating heat up and cause the underlying dye to react and become visible.


Introduction to 3 1/8 thermal paper rolls



Image source: Premium Photo | Photo thermal paper rolls with a point of sale machine (freepik.com)


3 1/8 thermal paper rolls are a common type of thermal paper, often found in various places, such as supermarkets, restaurants, retail stores, and ATMs. These rolls are so named because of their width, which is 3 1/8 inches – a size that fits perfectly in many standard printers and cash registers.

This form of thermal paper is known for its exceptional quality. The surface of the paper contains special heat-sensitive chemicals. When passed over a thermal print head, these chemicals react to the heat and produce a clear, long-lasting black image. This process eliminates the need for ink cartridges or ribbons, making thermal paper rolls cost-effective and maintenance-free.


Understanding the dimensions: 3 1/8 thermal paper rolls


cash register paper receipt


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The ‘3 1/8’ reference in ‘3 1/8 thermal paper rolls’ signifies the width of the paper roll in inches. This makes it one of the most commonly used widths for thermal receipt paper rolls, especially in point-of-sale (POS) systems like cash registers and credit card terminals. These rolls can vary, but common lengths include 230 feet, 273 feet, or even more.

The specific dimensions of a thermal paper roll are crucial as they must align with the printer specifications to ensure optimal performance and prevent damage. Refer to your printer’s manual or consult the supplier to choose the right roll dimensions.


How to Determine the Right Size of Thermal Paper for Your Machine

To determine the right thermal paper size for your machine, consider three dimensions:

Width: The thermal paper roll’s width must align with your machine’s printing width.

Diameter: The diameter of the thermal paper roll must fit within your machine’s holding capacity.

Length: The thermal receipt paper roll length depends on your specific usage needs; longer rolls last longer but require more storage space.


Types of 3 1/8 Thermal Paper Rolls



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When we speak of types of 3 1/8 thermal paper rolls, we refer to the different available variants, each designed to suit a specific set of needs. The classification can be based on the length, width, or core size of the roll or the type of printer compatibility. For instance, some thermal paper rolls are designed for point-of-sale (POS) receipt printers and cash registers, while others are intended for ATMs or mobile printers.

Some of the most common types of 3 1/8 thermal paper rolls are:

Single Ply Thermal Paper Rolls

Single-ply rolls use a single layer of special paper coated with a chemical that helps create images when exposed to heat from the printer head. This type of paper roll is usually used in applications such as POS systems, cash registers, and restaurant receipt printers. They are also commonly made from thermal or bond paper and are available in sizes 3 1/8 inches, 2 ½ inches, and three ¾ inches.

Multi-Ply Thermal Paper Rolls

Multi-ply thermal paper rolls use two layers of special paper, and a layer in between helps create images when exposed to heat from the printer head. This paper roll type is often used in applications such as medical terminals or credit card machines, where multiple copies of the receipt or document are required.

Colored Thermal Paper Rolls

In addition to the standard white thermal paper rolls, there are colored thermal paper rolls available in the market. These rolls use a special type of coated paper which helps create images when exposed to heat from the printer head. Colored thermal paper rolls are often used in applications such as restaurant receipt printers or ticket dispensers, where colors are an important part of printing.


Features of high-quality 3 1/8 thermal paper rolls


paper bill receipt


Image source: Free Vector | Free vector cash receipt out of sloth, paper bill, purchase invoice, retail sum check with money total cost, store sale payment. empty and filled blanks isolated . realistic 3d vector set (freepik.com)

High-quality 3 1/8 thermal paper rolls are known for their superior features that set them apart from average thermal paper products. Some of the most prominent features to mention are:

Paper Smoothness and Brightness

When selecting your printer paper, it is important to consider the smoothness and brightness of a thermal paper roll. A higher quality paper will create an image that looks professional and bright. Thermal rolls with a high CIE whiteness rating will produce better images as they reflect more light. The smoother the surface, the easier the print head to glide over, resulting in a higher-quality image.

Lint-Free and Dust-Free Technology

Modern thermal paper rolls are designed to be lint-free and dust-free, which is essential for a high-quality print. Thermal rolls engineered with advanced technology can help reduce the dust and debris that gets into the printer. This helps to keep your printer running smoothly and ensure crisp, clear images.


The use of 3 1/8 thermal paper rolls in different industries



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The 3 1/8 thermal paper roll is crucial across various industries due to its unique properties and usage. Its widespread use can be attributed to its quick and high-quality printing capabilities that do not require ink. Let us take a look at a few examples:

Use in the Retail Industry

Thermal paper rolls are widely used in the retail industry primarily because they provide a quick and reliable way for vendors to print receipts. Using thermal paper rolls to print receipts instead of regular printer paper eliminates the need for additional ink or toner cartridges. This makes it a cost-effective choice for many businesses, especially those with an eye on their budgets.

Use in the Food and Beverage Industry

Restaurants, cafes, and bars rely on thermal paper rolls to print orders and receipts quickly and accurately. Thermal receipt paper roll is designed with a thermal printer, eliminating the need for ribbons or toner cartridges. This makes it an ideal choice for businesses that want to reduce costs while providing a consistent and reliable service.

Use in the Healthcare Industry

Thermal paper rolls in the healthcare industry are perfect for printing patient records, prescriptions, and other medical documents that must be kept securely. Using thermal paper rolls instead of regular printer paper eliminates the need for costly ink or toner cartridges. In addition, many thermal printers can also print barcodes which makes them ideal for keeping track of patient records. This helps ensure the accuracy and security of all medical documents, making them an invaluable asset for any medical facility.

Proper storage and handling of 3 1/8 thermal paper rolls



Proper storage and handling of 3 1/8 thermal paper rolls refer to specific measures taken to maintain the quality and prolong the lifespan of the thermal paper. These precautions are necessary to prevent the paper from fading, ensuring that the receipts are legible for as long as possible. Proper storage includes keeping the thermal paper rolls in a cool, dark place, away from direct sunlight and excessive heat.

Additionally, these rolls should be handled with clean, dry hands to prevent any oil or moisture-related damage. It’s also recommended to store the thermal paper roll in its original packaging until ready for use to protect it further.


Environmental impact of 3 1/8 thermal paper roll and recyclability



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The environmental impact of 3 1/8 thermal paper rolls is an essential consideration due to the materials used in their production. Thermal paper is coated with a substance that changes color when exposed to heat, a property that enables quick and efficient printing on thermal receipt paper rolls. However, these coatings often contain chemicals like Bisphenol A (BPA) or Bisphenol S (BPS), which can pose environmental concerns when not properly disposed of. Moreover, the recyclability of thermal paper is a complex issue. While it is technically possible to recycle thermal paper, BPA or BPS can contaminate other paper products during the recycling process. Therefore, specific measures need to be taken to recycle thermal paper safely and efficiently to minimise its environmental impact.

Recycling Possibilities and Challenges

Regarding thermal paper rolls, recycling is more complex than other materials. Thermal paper contains a heat-sensitive coating that renders it difficult to recycle traditionally.

Nonetheless, some companies are beginning to explore ways of making this process easier and more efficient.

One example is the development of chemical recovery processes. Through these procedures, manufacturers can collect the chemicals used in thermal paper production, reuse them in new rolls, or safely dispose of them. This improves recycling rates and helps reduce these products’ environmental impact.

Conclusion: the future of 3 1/8 thermal paper rolls

As we look towards the future, it’s clear that the demand for 3 1/8 thermal paper rolls will continue to rise. Large and small businesses understand the importance of providing efficient and reliable receipt solutions to their customers and thermal receipt paper rolls meet that need perfectly. These rolls, known for their durability and high-quality print capabilities, are integral to point-of-sale systems across various sectors. The future of thermal paper is bright, driven by constant innovation and its inherent advantages. As we adapt to an increasingly digital world, the versatility and simplicity of thermal paper will keep it relevant for years to come.



1. What is the standard size of a thermal paper roll?

The standard size of a thermal paper roll typically varies depending on the application. However, one of the most commonly used sizes in industries such as retail and hospitality is the 3 1/8 inch (80mm) wide by 230 feet long roll. This site is frequently utilized in POS systems, cash registers, and credit card terminals. Please note that the length and width may differ based on specific equipment requirements. Refer to your device’s manual for the recommended thermal paper roll size.

2. Why is thermal paper so expensive?

Thermal paper is more expensive than regular printing paper for a few reasons. First, the raw material used in thermal printer paper is more costly than that used in regular printing paper – thermal-sensitive coatings are made from chemical compounds that can be several times as expensive as regular ink-absorbing materials like wood pulp. In addition, the process of manufacturing thermal paper is more complex and time-consuming than the traditional printing process.

3. What are the dimensions of the 3 1/8 thermal paper roll?

The dimensions of a 3 1/8 thermal paper roll typically refer to the width of the roll, which is 3 1/8 inches (about 80mm). However, the length of the roll can vary, often available in lengths such as 200 feet, 230 feet, or even longer. It’s essential to check the specific requirements of your thermal receipt printer to ensure you choose the correct thermal paper roll size.

4. What are the compatibility considerations for 3 1/8 thermal paper rolls with various printing machines?

When considering the compatibility of 3 1/8 thermal paper rolls with various printing machines, it’s essential to consider the printer’s specifications. Different printers are designed to accommodate different widths and diameters of thermal paper rolls. The 3 1/8 size typically fits a wide range of thermal printers, but it’s always prudent to check the manufacturer’s guidelines.

5. How long does the print on the 3 1/8 thermal paper rolls last?

The longevity of the print on 3 1/8 thermal paper rolls can vary significantly depending on the conditions they are stored in. Under ideal circumstances — that is, stored in a cool, dark place with low humidity — the print can last up to seven years. However, heat, light, or moisture exposure can drastically shorten this timeframe. Hence, properly storing your thermal receipt paper roll is crucial to ensure maximum print lifespan.

6. How should the 3 1/8 thermal paper rolls be stored for optimal longevity?

Several storage guidelines should be observed to ensure optimal longevity of 3 1/8 thermal paper rolls:

  1. Keep the thermal receipt paper rolled away from direct sunlight, heat, and humidity, which can cause the paper to darken prematurely.
  2. Store the thermal paper rolls in a cool, dark place, ideally below 77°F (25°C) and 65% relative humidity.
  3. Avoid direct contact with plastic, diazo copy paper, and carbon paper to prevent damage to the thermal coating.
  4. Keep the paper rolls in their original packaging until usage to protect them from dust and moisture.

7. Can 3 1/8 thermal paper rolls be recycled, or are there specific disposal instructions?

3 1/8 thermal paper rolls, like all types of thermal receipt paper rolls, can present challenges regarding disposal and recycling. The coating on thermal paper contains bisphenol A (BPA), which is harmful to the environment when improperly disposed of. As a result, recycling thermal paper rolls is more complex than recycling other paper types. The thermal paper should be thrown away in regular trash as it contaminates other recyclables.

Written By
Mindy Timm

Mindy Timm is the Sales Manager for Graphic Tickets & Systems, where he gives guidance and helps the customer with getting the product that will perform the best for their needs. Dedicated to the end-user, he is enthusiastic about talking to people all over the U.S. and taking care of their thermal paper needs as quickly and efficiently as possible so they can worry about the other projects on their desk. As a Marine Veteran, he takes pride in his attention to detail to make sure that your thermal paper rolls will work in your machines. After hours, he spends his time as a volunteer firefighter. For more information about Mindy or thermal paper, please feel free to visit our website at www.graphictickets.com.

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