In an ever-increasingly digital world, it is interesting to note that thermal card boarding passes continue to be the primary ticketing medium for most public transport journeys. Offering durability, and with or without a top coat, the thermal card option for ticketing is an attractive and practical option for the hard-working travel ticket.
Lighter weight thermal paper is the most popular choice for use with bus and ferry operators, whilst the heavier weight thermal board is the staple used across the globe by airlines and train operators.
Getting the best out of thermal paper for travel cards
Thermal paper is available in a variety of weights and anywhere between 126gsm – 175gsm offers the optimum quality and weight to allow for top and non-top coated thermal travel tickets. This weight parameter gives appropriate stability and durability to the printed image on the high-sensitivity thermal paper. The high image density also enables good barcode readability on the card.
From an efficiency point of view, thermal papers have excellent offset and flex printability, making them highly suited for high speed printing – an important consideration for transport operators with ticket sales sites in any major transport hub. Thermal also offers good die cutting performance in production too. The extremely low levels of dust on print heads also reduce the need for maintenance down times for the machinery used to print tickets.
How your thermal travel card is printed
The printing process uses a print head with hundreds of individual heater ceramic elements, typically 300 per inch, with each ceramic element separately controlled to transfer varying amounts of dye to the card.
Reverse transfer printing, also known as retransfer printing, produces vibrantly coloured, high-definition cards. Like dye sublimation, this method uses a heated print head and ribbon. A clear film is added as an extra step.
A 2-Step Printing Process:
- The card’s design is printed on to clear film.
- The film is then thermally fused to the card’s surface.
Printing to clear film and then fusing to the card surface, whilst it does result in slower print speeds, offers a superior visual print quality.
Some interesting transport facts: the busiest airports and train stations across the globe
- Atlanta’s Hartsfield- Jackson International Airport has been the world’s busiest airport every year since 2000, with an annual figure of 103 million passengers passing through its gates.
- With all airports combined by passenger count, London has the world’s busiest city airport system.
- Since 2017, seven countries have at least two airports in the top 50, the USA with 15, China with 10, and the United Kingdom, Japan, Germany, India and Spain with two airports each.
Looking to train travel, Japan’s Shinjuku train station serves almost 3.5 million passengers a day. France’s Gare du Nord in Paris serves around 180 million travellers each year, making it Europe’s busiest railway station by total passenger numbers. That’s a lot of travel tickets!
PG Paper can supply all of your thermal paper and thermal card needs – for use in the travel sector, and also across manufacturing and retail, to name but a few other industries that continue to use thermal products. If you are looking for a thermal paper or card solutions, please get in touch today at [email protected]
You may also wish to visit our website at www.pgpaper.com where you can read more about our extensive range of paper, board, tissue and speciality papers available. A Live Chat feature is available on the site – the team is waiting to assist with your enquiry!