All about NCR paper

NCR paper is short for carbonless copy paper. Also called carbonless copy paper or CCP. This carbonless paper is an alternative to carbon paper that is used to make a copy of an original handwritten or typed document without using electronic devices.

Before carbonless paper was invented, people wrote documents more than once or used carbon paper. Carbon paper was inserted between the sheet being written on and the copy. This method left the user’s fingertips stained. Carbonless paper makes multiple copies of handwritten and typed documents easy and clean.

The benefits of carbonless paper is that it is a stain-free, biodegradable alternative to carbon paper. The NCR Corporation first produced this product and called it No Carbon Required paper, or NCR, to make it an acronym for its National Cash Register corporation.

Carbonless paper is made from sheets of paper coated with dye or microencapsulated ink and possibly a reactive clay. The back of the first sheet is coated with microencapsulated dye. The blade on the underside is coated on top with the clay that reacts quickly with the dye to form a permanent mark. The immediate sheets are coated with clay on top and dye on the bottom.

When someone writes on carbonless paper, the pressure exerted by the tip of the writing utensil causes the microcapsules to break and spill dye. The capsules are very small, making the print recovered from pressure extremely accurate.

The paper can be used in impact and matrix printers, where the impact head releases dye to interact with the clay. Carbonless paper may also be available in a stand-alone version that has both the ink and the clay on the same side of the paper.

The first colorant used in the application was crystal violet lactone. This dye is still commonly and commercially used today. Other dyes and chemicals used include PTSMH, TMA, phenol-formaldehyde resins, azo dyes, DIPN, formaldehyde isocyanates, and hydrocarbon-based solvents.

There are also chemicals in the paper that are known for their green state. This includes polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, polyoxypropylene diamine, epoxy resins, aliphatic isocyanates, biphenyl A, diethylenetriamine, and more. The dyes in the copy paper will cause dermatitis in people with very sensitive skin, but most people are not affected.

Polychlorinated biphenyls, or PCBs, were used as a transfer agent on carbonless paper. In the 1970s, this chemical was banned due to environmental and health concerns. There may be skin irritation when using carbonless paper, but this is very rare and mild when it occurs.

NCR paper is commonly used for invoices, receipts, and other documents that require duplication. There are a wide variety of color options available for the copy sheet. This can include basic colors like white, yellow, pink, green, and blue. Most of the time, white paper is the top copy and subsequent colors are below, depending on how many duplicate pages are required.

To make two copies of a document, the papers would have a white top sheet and a second colored sheet below. This is called two parts or duplicate. To make three copies, there is a white top sheet and two colored sheets directly below. This is called three parts or triplicate. Four copies would be called four parts or quadruplicate.

Sometimes users require stacks of ten or more copies. This is easy to do with NCR paper. Carbonless paper is supplied to the final user collated in pads or books. They are joined in sets with glue or staples. Single sets or continuous stationery are widely used in printers. Companies can also specially request as many stacks of carbonless paper as needed.

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