Carbon paper

Today we will tell you what carbon paper is and what it is eaten with. Not so long ago, in the twentieth century, forms were widespread, where the text was automatically copied onto the next sheet. The inscription written on the first page appeared on the other, up to several pages. This led to a reduction in the time required to complete documents. This invention came in handy all over the world and gradually replaced the carbon copy filling method.

The unique properties of self-copying paper have made it an indispensable material for the production of multi-page forms. The first association that arises when meeting self-copying paper is that it is an attribute of spy technology. And indeed, they are no different in appearance from ordinary paper pages. When you write a word, it will appear on all other sheets (as when using carbon paper

To understand how this happens, let’s go back in time. The first carbon copy appeared in 1803, when paper was invented. The carbon paper was inserted between two sheets of plain paper. Much later, in 1882, a British businessman began producing forms with layers of carbon paper. Since that time, a steady increase in their consumption began.

разноцветная копирка нужна для дизайнерских работ

The founder of the production of carbon copies was the National Cash Register (NCR) company, located in the United States. This event occurred in 1954.

In 1950, American scientist and researcher from the National Company (now NCR Corporation) Barry Green discovered the microencapsulation process. This method fundamentally changed the situation in the field of multi-page forms. On July 30, 1953, he, along with another researcher from the same company, filed a patent application describing the microencapsulation principle used to this day in the production of self-copying paper.

Carbon paper – principle of operation

A typical three-page form has three main layers that interact with each other. Together the leaves form a system that produces an image (or rather a pressure pattern) onto the front surface of the second and third leaves.

как устроена копирка внутри

The top plate is coated with millions of microcapsules of colorless ink called CB (coated paper). The average CFB sheet  has two coatings on the top and a reagent on the bottom – a microcapsule. When writing on the top sheet with a pen or any other object, pressure is transferred to the reverse side, which causes the dye capsule to open and react with the coating reagent – this is how the gray image appears on the third sheet.

To realize the copying process, a layer of microscopic capsules is applied to one or two sides of the paper. Three different types of paper are used. The bottom layer should be denser than the top, because it serves as both a substrate and a press.

When a pencil or ballpoint pen is applied to the outside of the form, the microscopic capsules on the bottom layer are destroyed, and the component located inside falls on the next layer of paper, creating a copy of the written text. If necessary, by adding sheets in the middle, you can make multi-page forms. Issuing a receipt for reporting, for the client and for the employee was common practice.

Using carbon copy paper

To maintain all performance indicators, it is necessary to ensure optimal conditions of use.

Self-copying forms are filled out both manually and on mechanical units that create a mechanical load. These are typewriters and dot matrix printers. True, there are not so many of them left today. For manual filling, the maximum number of sheets should not exceed five.

сколько слоев копирки можно ложить вместе

The main use of self-copying forms was found in everyday work. This is filling out acts, invoices, receipts, various contracts and passes, and other actions that require manual filling.

In addition to its usual use, carbon paper is used to transfer complex colors. For example, a full-color image of a complex design in the form of a grid on another surface. Printing can be done on the obverse of the sheet and on the reverse side.

дизайнерская работа подразумевает использование копировальной бумаги

Carbon paper is increasingly being used by designers for decorative work. It is used to transfer the drawing to the wall. In some cases, sheets are perforated and then woven into brochures or books. In this case, cardboard is placed to fill out the form.

Carbon cutting

Different sheets of copy sandwich have different densities and are cut differently at the factory:

  • top sheet (CB). Since pressure on the cutter can damage the microcapsules, reduce the pressure on the sheet to a minimum (about 2-2.5 kg/m2).
  • middle sheet (CFB). In addition to the above, it is also recommended to use sharpened blades with an appropriate angle (about 19°).
  • The last sheet (CF) is cut in the same way as regular paper, although still cut with a sharp blade to avoid getting stuck in the block.

Storage recommendations

Carbon paper should be stored in its original packaging until use, maintaining the most stable temperatures at relative air humidity (18-24 ° C, 50-60%). Avoid overheating the paper, intense air currents, direct sunlight, moisture and friction against the surface of the walls.

советская копировальная бумага для печатных машинок

If the conditions at the site of use are different, it is necessary to store it in a warehouse and leave the paper in its original packaging. Additionally, carbon paper should always be stored on a flat surface with the smooth side facing up.

Carbon paper printing

Depending on the type of printing on self-copying paper (ZKS 53 g/m2), you can do:

  • 4-6 copies (handwritten);
  • 8-12 copies (typewriting method);
  • 3-7 copies (matrix printing).

For printing
Try to avoid too much “twisting” and sliding while winding, maintaining an even and constant pressure. Avoid excessive pressure or friction, which could damage the microcapsule on the underside of the sheet.

бланки договоров и чеков выполняют на копирке

In the case of a cotton top layer, this may affect the copying properties of the COC middle layer and cause color removal on the top layer. The winding operation is carried out in exactly the same way as with ordinary paper covering.

Inkjet printing

Inkjet printing on copy forms
can be done, however, it is advisable to adhere to the following recommendations:

  • use paints
    with low solvent content. Solvents can affect the properties of the copy layer and contribute to the appearance of undesirable colors.
  • use medium or low viscosity ink, and, if necessary, after consultation with the ink manufacturer. Additives may be used in inks to reduce the stickiness of the ink.
  • Avoid excessive ink spillage as this may cause clogging or improper contact between layers, which may ruin copies.

Laser printing

Paper forms
with carbon paper have good applicability for laser printers, however, microcapsules can be damaged at too high temperatures.

за рубежом тоже используют копировальные бланки

It is difficult to guarantee the quality of each copy on laser printers, although the high-quality use of sheets when printing from laser printers has been proven more than once. As a general guideline for color laser printers, it is important to use high-quality paper with a hardness of at least 75 g/m2 and to thoroughly clean the printer’s print heads. A test run should also be carried out for each print batch.

Roll-to-roll laser printing is not recommended for copy forms because it is done at high speeds at high temperatures and places a lot of stress on the paper. As a result, the microcapsules may be damaged. Although this damage may be minor and may not affect the properties of the carbon paper, it does release oil that can damage the printer during printing.

Watch the video below for artistic uses of carbon paper.