Thermal Printers Keep Rolling Smoothly, Quietly

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RTP Company joined forces with Axiohm Transaction Solutions to develop a wear-resistant, anti-static compound for its point-of-sale thermal printer. Used in retail, financial, and commercial applications, the printer silently rolls out miles of customer transaction receipts.

Engineers developed a flame-retardant polycarbonate ABS compound, shipped pre-colored, for the housing. Then they solved three material requirements for the black inner frame, which houses a roll of thermal paper and a motor.

First, the compound needed to minimize friction and wear at points of contact for gear shafts and rollers. Second, it had to exhibit conductive properties to eliminate static and ensure smooth paper feed through the printhead. High temperature resistance was also needed to counteract high temperatures from a continually-running motor.

RTP Company answered all three demands with a single impact-modified polycarbonate compound. It exhibits unnotched impact strength of 35 ft. lbs./in. at 1/8 in. (1869 J/m), volume resistivity of 102-104 ohm-cm, and a heat deflection temperature of 270 degrees F at 264 psi (132 degrees C at 1820 kPa).

"We tried two custom formulas before we achieved the right combination of performance features," said John Bertalan, Senior Mechanical Engineer at Axiohm. "The inner frame is key to reliable operation of these printers, and no one can afford to have them shut down. RTP Company really focused on the project and solved the problem in a short time."

Axiohm Transaction Solutions (formerly DH Technology) manufactures a full line of thermal printers and transaction equipment. Contact them in Riverton, Wyoming, at 307-856-4821.

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