Is "Re-Printable" Paper the Newest Technology?

Since the dawn of printing technology, people have expressed concerns over how many trees must be felled in order to produce enough paper to keep up with demand. That issue was improved significantly by the invention of the paper recycling process. Now, a new technology is on the horizon that could change the printing industry again and make it greener than ever: re-printable paper.

Re-printable? Yes, you read that right. Researchers at the University of California Riverside decided to come up with a type of paper that could be printed on, easily erased without damaging the paper, and then used again. The process they came up with uses a specialized process involving ultraviolet light to cure a type of redox dye that’s already commercially available. This is a huge benefit for those interested in this new technology because it means that integration and widespread use may not be far off should the process be perfected!

Another more complex system utilizes a mixture of redox dye combined with titanium oxide particles, which can then be applied to a piece of conventional printer paper. A light-based printer (either ultraviolet light or a more conventional laser system) then creates the image on the piece of paper using a photo mask to make the image appear. The result is a print process that requires no ink or toner and can produce images in extremely high print resolutions.

The erasing process is also fairly simple: simply heating the paper to a high temperature causes the image to disappear, allowing it to be re-printed. Researchers have been able to erase and reprint a single sheet of paper up to eighty times before it needs replaced!

At the moment, this technology is still in its infancy, and as a result there are hurdles that need to be overcome. At the moment, oxidation causes prints to disappear in roughly a week’s time. However, as technology advances and new materials are created that won’t be damaged by the air around us, loads of applications will be able to make practical use of this paper-saving method.

Need high-quality photo or legal printing? Acro Photo Print Inc. can provide you with a solution for all of your business applications. Give us a call at (929) 244-4322 to learn more or get a service quote.