What Is The Difference Between Carbon And Carbonless Paper?

Does your professional life include daily copying of receipts? If yes, then you must be aware of carbon and carbonless papers. They will allow you to copy documents without requiring a copier. Both are extremely important; however, only a few know about their features and differences.

What is carbon paper? What is carbonless paper? What are their uses, and which is better? What is the difference between carbon and carbonless paper? How do you use them?

You should know the answers to all these important questions. So give us a few minutes to present you with all the information you need to know!

What Is The Difference Between Carbon And Carbonless Paper?

What Is Carbon Paper?

Carbon papers are commonly used by cashiers for carrying out electronic-free copying tasks. Each sheet has one side that has a pigmented black color ink laminated using wax or plastic film. The other side of the sheet is usually utilized to display the manufacturer’s logo.

Carbon papers are usually sandwiched between regular sheets to carry out the copying task successfully. One paper should be placed above the carbon paper while the other is placed beneath. When you write on the piece of paper placed on top, pressure is exerted on the waxy layer due to the pen’s tip. This causes an imprint to be drawn on the bottom sheet, simultaneously creating another copy of your written document.

Originally, when it was discovered in the early 19th century, the waxy layer consisted of carbon microfibers. This earned the paper its name – carbonic paper – which was later shortened to carbon paper.

What Is The Purpose Of Carbon Paper?

Carbon papers are usually used by cashiers for recording product transactions. They hand out one copy of the receipt to customers while the other is kept as a record of the sale. At the end of the day, the sums written on the receipts are added up to see if it equals the amount earned.

Many mail delivery systems also utilize carbon paper to handle their packages. Tracking details are written on one slip and attached to the package. The carboncopy is kept by the organization to keep track of the recipient and sender’s information.

Some banks will also use carbon papers to make duplicate checks and police officers will also use them to write up tickets.

In recent years, the use of carbon papers has faced a decline. This is because of the availability of apps like MS Excel, which can neatly organize your data and even provide further assistance. The calculation is also made more effortless, and chances of losing information are reduced.

Lately, carbon papers are instead used for fuel cell applications. This diverts from the original intent of copying documents and instead, focuses on using carbon for diffusion.

What Are Carbonless Pages?

Carbonless pages are considered to be the eco-friendlier counterparts of carbon paper. Instead of carbon microfibers, they are coated with chemicals that leave an imprint when pressure is applied.

One white sheet is usually present at the top, where you can write the texts that you wish to copy. Below this white sheet, two colored pieces of paper are present where your duplicates – or in this case, triplicates – will be formed. Sometimes, you can also make four copies at once. Carbonless pages are frequently found, bound into a notepad.

A white CB sheet is present on the top, which is coated with microcapsules underneath.

Next is the CFB sheet, which has two separate chemicals on either side. One side is plastered with a compound that helps in extracting the chemical. This reacts with the microcapsules present on the CB sheet and forms a copy on the second page.

Underneath the CFB sheet, another layer of microcapsules transfers the information to the last CF sheet. The CF sheet also has a receptive chemical layer plastered on top, which helps you get your third copy.

Uses Of Carbonless Paper

These days, carbonless papers have taken over all the uses of carbon paper. They are, thus, more regularly used to keep receipts. Sales and purchase records are diligently kept.

Another common usage of carbonless papers is making copies of forms. For example, legal, delivery, or insurance forms that require copies can be filled out only once to receive three identical copies.

Employment forms are commonly filled out using carbon paper. This allows various people in the company to access a copy of a person’s details. Lastly, carbon papers can also record service tickets and invoice details.

How Do You Use Carbonless Paper?

Using carbonless papers basically includes writing on the white sheet of paper present at the top. It is best to use a pen and exert a little bit of force while writing. This will cause the chemical color formers to leave an imprint on the bottom pages. Once you are done writing, you can immediately turn over the page. Your written text will be copied onto the pink and yellow pages beneath the white one.

Difference Between Carbon And Carbonless Paper

Although carbon and carbonless papers are both used for making device-free copies, they are dissimilar in many ways.

Firstly, as you could have guessed from the name, there is a difference in the material used. Carbon paper utilizes a combination of paraffin wax and microfiber carbon to get copies. In contrast, carbonless papers contain biodegradable chemicals that assist in getting copies. They are even known as NCR – No Carbon Required – due to the absence of carbon.

Secondly, the number of copies each method can produce differs. While carbon paper can get only one copy, carbonless papers can get as far as four. This makes them more useful as several copies of data can be stored.

Carbon and carbonless papers also manage to give a stark difference between output quality. While carbonless papers manage to give a neat and clean output, that is not the case for carbon papers. The wax does not always hold the carbon microfibers properly, so they can get on the copied page. This might create a messy result that is not always appreciated.

Finally, there is a noticeable variation in price. Carbonless papers are always more expensive than carbon paper as they are safer to use and provide better quality. Carbon papers have carbon dust which has the capability of blowing things up. Precaution has to be maintained to avoid explosions.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Can You Use Instead Of Carbon Paper?

Carbonless paper is the better and faster alternative to carbon paper. It will provide you with outstanding results and an increased number of copies in a shorter period of time. In addition, the writing is more easily identifiable as no carbon stains are left on the copies. Besides that, there is the advantage of using eco-friendly paper, which brings no risk to the table.

How Many Types Of Carbon Paper Are There?

Unlike carbonless paper, there is only one type of carbon paper. All carbon papers have a waxy coating on one side. Sometimes paraffin wax is used to form this layer, while polyester is also used at other times.

What Is The Thickness Of Carbon Paper?

Carbon papers usually have a thickness ranging between 100 to 300 μm. The thickness will be mentioned on the packaging, so check it out before you purchase one. Remember that paper thickness will also affect whether or not you can print using carbon paper.