(19)
(11)EP 3 351 398 B1

(12)EUROPEAN PATENT SPECIFICATION

(45)Mention of the grant of the patent:
16.10.2019 Bulletin 2019/42

(21)Application number: 16857454.9

(22)Date of filing:  19.10.2016
(51)International Patent Classification (IPC): 
B41M 5/333(2006.01)
B41M 5/323(2006.01)
(86)International application number:
PCT/JP2016/080926
(87)International publication number:
WO 2017/069141 (27.04.2017 Gazette  2017/17)

(54)

THERMOSENSITIVE RECORDING MEDIUM

WÄRMEEMPFINDLICHES AUFZEICHNUNGSMEDIUM

MÉDIA D'ENREGISTREMENT THERMOSENSIBLE


(84)Designated Contracting States:
AL AT BE BG CH CY CZ DE DK EE ES FI FR GB GR HR HU IE IS IT LI LT LU LV MC MK MT NL NO PL PT RO RS SE SI SK SM TR

(30)Priority: 23.10.2015 JP 2015208590

(43)Date of publication of application:
25.07.2018 Bulletin 2018/30

(73)Proprietor: Nippon Paper Industries Co., Ltd.
Tokyo 114-0002 (JP)

(72)Inventors:
  • MATSUMORI, Yasuaki
    Tokyo 114-0002 (JP)
  • OGINO, Akihito
    Tokyo 114-0002 (JP)
  • HIRAI, Kenji
    Tokyo 114-0002 (JP)

(74)Representative: Wilson Gunn 
Blackfriars House The Parsonage 5th Floor
Manchester M3 2JA
Manchester M3 2JA (GB)


(56)References cited: : 
JP-A- H0 859 603
JP-A- S5 933 189
JP-A- H07 179 037
JP-A- S52 106 907
JP-A- 2013 199 054
JP-A- S5 811 193
JP-A- H03 288 692
JP-A- H11 272 133
JP-A- S52 123 710
  
      
    Note: Within nine months from the publication of the mention of the grant of the European patent, any person may give notice to the European Patent Office of opposition to the European patent granted. Notice of opposition shall be filed in a written reasoned statement. It shall not be deemed to have been filed until the opposition fee has been paid. (Art. 99(1) European Patent Convention).


    Description

    Field of the Invention



    [0001] The present invention relates to a thermosensitive recording medium for recording image by utilizing a coloring reaction between a colorless or pale colored electron donating leuco dye (referred to as "leuco dye") and an electron accepting color developing agent (referred to as "color developing agent"), wherein the thermosensitive recording layer comprises a gluconolactone as the electron accepting color developing agent.

    Background of the Invention



    [0002] Thermosensitive recording media are ordinarily prepared by applying a coating solution containing a leuco dye and an color developing agent onto a substrate such as paper, synthetic paper, film, plastic and the like. Thermosensitive recording medium develops color through an instantaneous chemical reaction when heated using a thermal head, hot stamp, hot pen, laser light and the like and yields a recorded image. Thermosensitive recording media are used extensively in recording media such as facsimile devices, computer terminal printers, automatic ticket dispensers, recorders for meters, receipts at super markets and convenience stores and the like.

    [0003] As the color developing agent, bisphenols, alkylphenols, novolac type phenolic resins, derivatives of aromatic carboxylic acids and metal salts thereof, hydroxybenzoic acid esters, sulfonylurea compounds, activated clay, and the like are generally used.

    [0004] There's a demand from the users of thermosensitive recording media for an environment-friendly color developing agent rather than such a conventional phenol type material and the like. Then thermosensitive recording media using ascorbic acid (References 1 and 2, etc.), saccharin (Reference 3 etc.) and the like as the color developing agent has been disclosed. Also a thermosensitive recording medium having a thermosensitive recording layer comprising an organic acid, e.g. oxalic acid, maleic acid, tartaric acid, citric acid, as color developing agent has been disclosed (Reference 4).

    References



    [0005] 

    Reference 1: Japanese Patent Application Public Disclosure S60-101171

    Reference 2: International Publication WO2014/143174

    Reference 3: Japanese Patent Application Public Disclosure S59-33189

    Reference 4: JP S58 11193 A


    Problems to be solved by the Invention



    [0006] It is an object of the present invention to provide a thermosensitive recording medium using an environment-friendly color developing agent.

    Means to solve the Problems



    [0007] In order to solve the above problem, the present inventors have studied a wide range of environment-friendly compounds and, as a result, surprisingly found that a gluconolactone functions as a color developing agent and completed the present invention.

    [0008] That is, the present invention provides a thermosensitive recording medium having a thermosensitive recording layer comprising a colorless or pale colored electron donating leuco dye and an electron accepting color developing agent on a substrate, wherein the thermosensitive recording layer comprises a gluconolactone as the electron accepting color developing agent.

    Detailed Description of the Invention



    [0009] Gluconolactone (also referred to as glucono-1,5-lactone or glucono-δ-lactone) used as a color developing agent in the present invention is represented by the following formula (formula 1) and is a lactone of a gluconic acid obtained by oxidizing a glucose, and in vivo it is obtained by converting a glucose by the action of glucose-1-dehydrogenase.



    [0010] Gluconolactone is being used as a natural additive for foods and is safe to the human body.

    [0011] It is considered that gluconolactone is in equilibrium with gluconic acid in a solution such as a coating solution and is in the state of gluconolactone with the above formula in a coating solution (dry state). In the present invention, the compounds in these states are collectively referred to as gluconolactone.

    [0012] As gluconolactone that is environment-friendly is used as a color developing agent in the present invention, any color developing agent other than gluconolactone may be used in combination, which may bring better effects on the function of a thermosensitive recording medium, such as color developing performance (print intensity) and the like. However, when a color developing agent other than gluconolactone is used in combination, the advantage of being environment-friendly may decrease according to the ratio.

    [0013] As such color developing agents, activated clay, attapulgite, colloidal silica, inorganic acidic substances such as aluminum silicate and the like, 4,4'-isopropylidene diphenol, 1,1-bis(4-hydroxyphenyl) cyclohexane, 2,2-bis(4-hydroxyphenyl)-4-methylpentane, 4,4'-dihydroxydiphenyl sulfide, hydroquinone monobenzyl ether, benzyl 4-hydroxybenzoate, 4,4'-dihydroxy diphenyl sulfone, 2,4'-dihydroxy diphenyl sulfone, 4-hydroxy-4'-isopropxy diphenyl sulfone, 4-hydroxy-4'-n-propoxy diphenyl sulfone, bis(3-allyl-4-hydroxyphenyl) sulfone, 4-hydroxy-4'-methyl diphenyl sulfone, 4-hydroxyphenyl-4'-benzyloxyphenyl sulfone, 3,4-dihydroxyphenyl-4'-methyl phenyl sulfone, 1-[4-(4-hydroxyphenyl-sulfonyl) phenoxy]-4- [4- (4-isopropoxyphenyl sulfonyl) phenoxy] butane, phenol condensate composition described in Japanese Patent Application Public Disclosure No. 2003-154760, aminobenzene sulfonamide derivatives described in Japanese Patent Application Public Disclosure No. H08-59603, bis(4-hydroxyphenyl thioethoxy) methane, 1,5-di(4-hydroxyphenyl thio)-3-oxapentane, butyl bis(p-hydroxyphenyl) acetate, methyl bis(p-hydroxyphenyl) acetate, 1,1-bis(4-hydroxyphenyl)-1-phenyl ethane, 1,4-bis[α-methyl-α-(4'-hydroxyphenyl)ethyl]benzene, 1,3-bis[α-methyl-α-(4'-hydroxyphenyl)ethyl]benzene, di(4-hydroxy-3-methylphenyl) sulfide, 2,2'-thiobis(3-tert-octylphenol), 2,2'-thiobis(4-tert-octylphenol), phenolic compounds such as diphenyl sulfone crosslinked compounds and the like described in International Publication WO97/16420, phenolic compounds described in International Publication WO02/081229 or Japanese Patent Application Public Disclosure No. 2002-301873, thiourea compounds such as N,N'-di-m-chlorophenyl thiourea and the like, p-chlorobenzoic acid, stearyl gallate, bis[zinc 4-octyloxy carbonylamino] salicylate dihydrate, 4-[2-(p-methoxyphenoxy) ethyloxy] salicylic acid, 4-[3-(p-trisulfonyl) propyloxy] salicylic acid, aromatic carboxylic acids such as 5-[p-(2-p-methoxyphenoxyethoxy) cumyl] salicylic acid and salts of these aromatic carboxylic acids and polyvalent metals such as zinc, magnesium, aluminum, calcium, titanium, manganese, tin, nickel and the like, and, furthermore, antipirin complexes of zinc thiocyanate and complex zinc salts and the like of terephthal aldehyde acid with other aromatic carboxylic acids, for example, may be cited.

    [0014] These color developing agents may be used individually and in mixtures of at least two.

    [0015] 1-[4-(4-hydroxyphenyl-sulfonyl) phenoxy]-4- [4- (4-isopropoxyphenyl sulfonyl) phenoxy] butane is available under the trade name of JKY-214 produced by Mitsubishi Chemical Corporation. The phenol condensate composition described in Japanese Patent Application Public Disclosure No. 2003-154760 is available under the trade name of JKY-224 produced by Mitsubishi Chemical Corporation. The diphenylsulfone crosslinked type compound described in International Publication WO97/16420 is available under the trade name of D-90 produced by Nippon Soda Co., Ltd.. The compound described in International Publication WO02/081229 is also available under the trade names of NKK-395 and D-100 produced by Nippon Soda K.K. In addition, high molecular weight aliphatic acid metal complex salts described in Japanese Patent Application Public Disclosure No. H10-258577 and metal chelate type color development components such as polyvalent hydroxy aromatic compounds and the like may also be present.

    [0016] Among these color developing agents, a color developing agent having a urea structure (-NHCONH-) is preferred as a color developing agent that may be used in combination with gluconolactone in the present invention,

    [0017] As such color developing agents, for example, the following color developing agents may be cited:

    N-(2-(3-phenylureido) phenyl) benzenesulfonamide (represented by the following formula, for example, available as NKK 1304 manufactured by Nippon Soda Co., Ltd.)

    3- (3-Tosylureido) phenyl-p-toluenesulfonate (represented by the following formula, for example, available as DP 201 manufactured by BASF Japan Ltd.)

    Urea urethane compound (represented by the following formula, for example, available as UU manufactured by Chemipro Kasei Kaisha, Ltd.)

    3 - {[(Phenylamino) carbonyl] amino} benzenesulfonamide (represented by the following formula, for example, available as SU 727 manufactured by Mitsubishi Chemical Corporation)



    [0018] The amount (in solid) of gluconolactone in the thermosensitive recording layer is preferably from 1 to 18 weight %, more preferably from 3 to 14 weight %, further preferably from 5 to 10 weight %.

    [0019] Also, it is preferable from the viewpoint of environment-friendliness that the color developing agent consists only of gluconolactone. However, when other color developing agents are used in combination by considering the balance between the influence on environment and the performance of a thermosensitive recording medium such as coloring performance (printing density), the weight ratio of gluconolactone to the other color developing agent (gluconolactone / other color developing agent) in the color developing agent is preferably 40/60 or more, more preferably from 50/50 to 80/20, further preferably from 50/50 to 70/30.

    [0020] The conventional composition for the thermosensitive recording medium may be utilized for the thermosensitive recording medium of the present invention other than using gluconolactone as a color developing agent.

    [0021] That is, the thermosensitive recording medium of the present invention essentially comprises a thermosensitive recording layer on a substrate and may optionally have a protective layer on the thermosensitive recording layer, a undercoat layer between the substrate and the thermosensitive recording layer, and a back coat layer on the opposite side of the thermosensitive recording layer of the substrate. And any other coating layer may appropriately be installed depending on the purpose of usage.

    [0022] The substrate is not particularly limited, and can be appropriately selected from conventionally known substrates such as paper, recycled paper, synthetic paper, film, plastic film, foamed plastic film, nonwoven fabric or the like according to the desired quality of the thermosensitive recording medium. Further, any combination of these may be used as a substrate.

    [0023] The thermosensitive recording layer of the present invention essentially comprises a leuco dye in addition to the above-described color developing agent, and may further optionally comprise a sensitizer, a binder, a pigment, a crosslinking agent, an image stabilizer and other components.

    [0024] As the leuco dye in the present invention, all of the leuco dyes well known in the conventional field of pressure sensitive and thermosensitive recording media may be used. As the leuco dye is not particularly restricted, triphenylmethane type compounds, fluorane type compounds, fluorene type compounds, divinyl type compounds and the like are preferred as the leuco dye. Specific examples of the typical leuco dye (dye precursors) are shown below. In addition, these leuco dye precursors may be used individually and also in mixtures of at least two of them.

    <Triphenylmethane type leuco dyes>



    [0025] 3,3-bis(p-Dimethyl aminophenyl)-6-dimethylaminophthalide [alternate name: crystal violet lactone] and 3,3-bis(p-Dimethyl aminophenyl) phthalide [alternate name: malachite green lactone]

    <Fluorane type leuco dyes>



    [0026] 3-Diethylamino-6-methylfluorane, 3-diethylamino-6-methyl-7-anilinofluorane, 3-diethylamino-6-methyl-7-(o,p-dimethylanilino)fluorane, 3-diethylamino-6-methyl-7-chlorofluoran, 3-diethylamino-6-methyl-7-(m-trifluoromethylanilino) fluorane, 3-diethylamino-6-methyl-7-(o-chloroanilino) fluorane, 3-diethylamino-6-methyl-7-(p-chloroanilino) fluorane, 3-diethylamino-6-methyl-7-(o-fluoroanilino) fluorane, 3-diethylamino-6-methyl-7-(m-methylanilino) fluorane, 3-diethylamino-6-methyl-7-n-octylanilino fluorane, 3-diethylamino-6-methyl-7-n-octylamino fluorane, 3-diethylamino-6- methyl-7-benzylamino fluorane, 3-diethylamino-6-methyl-7-dibenzylamino fluorane, 3-diethylamino-6-chloro-7-methyl fluorane, 3-diethylamino-6-chloro-7-anilino fluorane, 3-diethylamino-6-chloro-7-p-methylanilino fluorane, 3-diethylamino-6-ethoxyethyl-7-anilino fluorane, 3-diethylamino-7-methyl fluorane, 3-diethylamino-7-chloro fluorane, 3-diethylamino-7-(m-trifluoromethylanilino) fluorane, 3-diethylamino-7-(o-chloroanilino) fluorane, 3-diethylamino-7-(p-chloroanilino) fluorane, 3-diethylamino-7-(o-fluoroanilino) fluorane, 3-diethylamino-benz[a] fluorane, 3-diethylamino-benz[c] fluorane, 3-dibutylamino-6-methyl-fluorane, 3-dibutylamino-6-methyl-7-anilino fluorane, 3-dibutylamino-6-methyl-7-(o,p-dimethylanilino) fluorane, 3-dibutylamino-7-(o-chloroanilino) fluorane, 3-butylamino-6-methyl-7-(p-chloroanilino) fluorane, 3-dibutylamino-6-methyl-7-(o-fluoroanilino) fluorane, 3-dibutylamino-6-methyl-7-(m-fluoroanilino) fluorane, 3-dibutylamino-6-methyl-chloro fluorane, 3-dibutylamino-6-ethoxyethyl-7-anilino fluorane, 3-dibutylamino-6-chloro-7-anilino fluorane, 3-dibutylamino-6-methyl-7-p-methylanilino fluorane, 3-dibutylamino-7-(o-chloroanilino) fluorane, 3-dibutylamino-7-(o-fluoroanilino) fluorane, 3-di-n-pentylamino-6-methyl-7-anilino fluorane, 3-di-n-pentylamino-6-methyl-7-(p-chloroanilino) fluorane, 3-di-n-pentylamino-7-(m-trifluoromethylanilino) fluorane, 3-di-n-pentylamino-6-chloro-7-anilino fluorane, 3-di-n-pentylamino-7-(p-chloroanilino) fluorane, 3-pyrolidino-6-methyl-7-anilino fluorane, 3-piperidino-6-methyl-7-anilino fluorane, 3-(N-methyl-N-propylamino)-6-methyl-7-anilino fluorane, 3-(N-methyl-N-cyclohexylamino)-6-methyl-7-anilino fluorane, 3-(N-ethyl-N-cyclohexylamino)-6-methyl-7-anilino fluorane, 3-(N-ethyl-N-xylylamino)-6-methyl-7-(p-chloroanilino) fluorane, 3-(N-ethyl-p-toluidino)-6-methyl-7-anilino fluorane, 3-(N-ethyl-N-isoamylamino)-6-methyl-7-anilino fluorane, 3-(N-ethyl-N-isoamylamino)-6-chloro-7-anilino fluorane, 3-(N-ethyl-N-tetrahydrofurfurylamino)-6-methyl-7-anilino fluorane, 3-(N-ethyl-N-isobutylamino)-6-methyl-7-anilino fluorane, 3-(N-ethyl-N-ethoxypropylamino)-6-methyl-7-anilino fluorane, 3-cyclohexylamino-6-chloro fluorane, 2-(4-oxahexyl)-3-dimethylamino-6-methyl-7-anilino fluorane, 2-(4-oxahexyl)-3-diethylamino-6-methyl-7-anilino fluorane, 2-(4-oxahexyl)-3-dipropylamino-6-methyl-7-anilino fluorane, 2-methyl-6-o-(p-dimethylaminophenyl) aminoanilino fluorane, 2-methoxy-6-p-(p-dimethylaminophenyl) aminoanilino fluorane, 2-chloro-3-methyl-6-p-(p-phenylaminophenyl) aminoanilino fluorane, 2-chloro-6-p-(p-dimethylaminophenyl) aminoanilino fluorane, 2-nitro-6-p-(p-diethylaminophenyl) aminoanilino fluorane, 2-amino-6-p-(p-diethylaminophenyl) aminoanilino fluorane, 2-diethylamino-6-p-(p-diethylaminophenyl) aminoanilino fluorane, 2-phenyl-6-methyl-6-p-(p-phenylaminophenyl) aminoanilino fluorane, 2-benzyl-6-p-(p-phenylaminophenyl) aminoanilino fluorane, 2-hydroxy-6-p-(p-phenylaminophenyl)aminoanilino fluorane, 3-methyl-6-p-(p-dimethylaminophenyl) aminoanilino fluorane, 3-diethylamino-6-p-(p-diethylaminophenyl) aminoanilino fluorane, 3-diethylamino-6-p-(p-dibutylaminophenyl) aminoanilino fluorane and 2,4-dimethyl-6-[(4-dimethylamino) anilino] fluorane.

    <Fluorene type leuco dye>



    [0027] 3,6,6-Tris(dimethylamino) spiro[fluorane-9,3'-phthalide] and 3,6,6'-tris (diethylamino) spiro[fluorane-9,3'-phthalide].

    <Divinyl type leuco dyes>



    [0028] 3,3-bis-[2-(p-dimethylaminophenyl)-2-(p-methoxyphenyl) ethenyl] -4,5,6,7-tetrabromophthalide, 3,3-bis-[2-(p-dimethylaminophenyl)-2-(p-methoxyphenyl) ethenyl] -4,5,6,7-tetrachlorophthalide, 3,3-bis-[1,1-bis(4-pyrrolidinophenyl) ethylene-2-yl] 4,5,6,7-tetra-bromophthalide, 3,3-bis-[1-(4-methoxyphenyl)-1-(4-pyrrolidinophenyl) ethylene-2-yl] -4,5,6,7-tetrachlorophthalide

    <Others>



    [0029] 3-(4-Diethylamino-2-ethoxyphenyl)-3-(1-ethyl-2-methylindol-3-yl)-4-azaphthalide, 3-(4-diethylamino-2-ethoxyphenyl)-3-(1-octyl-2-methylindol-3-yl)-4-azaphthalide, 3-(4-cyclohexyl ethylamino-2-methoxyphenyl)-3-(1-ethyl-2-methylindol-3-yl)-4-azaphthalide, 3,3-bis(1-ethyl-2-methylindol-3-yl)phthalide, 3,6-bis(diethylamino)fluorane-γ-(3'-nitroanilinolactam, 3,6-bis(diethylamino)fluorane-γ-(4'-nitro) anilinolactam, 1,1-bis-[2',2',2",2"-tetrakis-(p-dimethylaminophenyl)-ethenyl]-2,2-dinitrilethane, 1,1-bis-[2',2',2",2"-tetrakis-(p-dimethylaminophenyl)-ethenyl]-2-β-naphthoylethane, 1,1-bis-[2',2',2",2"-tetrakis-(p-dimethylaminophenyl)-ethenyl]-2,2-diacetylethane and bis-[2,2,2',2'-tetrakis-(p-dimethylaminophenyl)-ethenyl]-methylmalonic acid dimethyl ester.

    [0030] As the sensitizers used in the thermosensitive recording medium of the present invention, diphenylsulfone, aliphatic acid amides such as stearic acid amide, palmitic acid amide and the like, benzyloxy naphthalene, 1,2-di(3-methylphenoxy) ethylene, di(p-methylbenzyl) oxalate and the like may be listed as examples. These sensitizers may be used individually or as mixtures of at least two of them.

    [0031] As the binder used in the present invention, polyvinyl alcohols such as completely saponified polyvinyl alcohol, partially saponified polyvinyl alcohol, carboxyl-modified polyvinyl alcohol, diacetone modified polyvinyl alcohol, acetoacetyl modified polyvinyl alcohol, amide-modified polyvinyl alcohol, sulfonic acid-modified polyvinyl alcohol, butyral-modified polyvinyl alcohol, olefin-modified polyvinyl alcohol, nitrile-modified polyvinyl alcohol, pyrolidone-modified polyvinyl alcohol, silicone-modified polyvinyl alcohol, silanol-modified polyvinyl alcohol, cation-modified polyvinyl alcohol, terminal alkyl-modified polyvinyl alcohol and the like; cellulose ethers and derivatives thereof such as hydroxyethyl cellulose, methyl cellulose, ethyl cellulose, carboxymethyl cellulose, acetyl cellulose and the like; starch such as starch, enzyme modified starch, thermochemically modified starch, oxidized starch, esterified starch, etherified starch (for example, such as hydroxyethyl starch), cationic starch and the like; polyacrylamides such as polyacrylamide, cationic polyacrylamides, anionic polyacrylamides, amphoteric polyacrylamides and the like; urethane resins such as polyester polyurethane resins, polyether polyurethane resins, polyurethane-based ionomer resin and the like; acrylic resin comprising (meth) acrylic acid and a monomer component (except olefin) copolymerizable with (meth) acrylic acid; styrene-butadiene resins such as styrene-butadiene copolymer, styrene-butadiene-acrylonitrile copolymer, styrene-butadiene-acrylic copolymer and the like; polyvinyl acetate; vinyl chloride-vinyl acetate copolymer; polyolefin resin such as ethylene-vinyl acetate copolymer; polyvinyl chloride; polyvinylidene chloride; polyacrylic ester resin; gum arabic, polyvinyl butylal, polystyrol and their copolymers; silicone resins; petroleum resins; terpene resins; ketone resins; cumaron resins and the like may be listed as examples. These may be used individually or as mixtures of at least two of them.

    [0032] As a pigment used in the present invention, inorganic or organic fillers such as silica, calcium carbonate, kaolin, calcined kaolin, diatomaceous earth, talc, titanium oxide, aluminum hydroxide and the like may be cited. These may be used individually or as mixtures of at least two of them.

    [0033] As the crosslinking agent used in the present invention, glyoxal, methylol melamine, melamine formaldehyde resins, melamine urea resins, polyamine epichlorohydrin resins, polyamide epichlorohydrin resins, potassium persulfate, ammonium persulfate, sodium persulfate, ferric chloride, magnesium chloride, borate sand, boric acid, alum, ammonium chloride and the like may be listed as examples.

    [0034] In addition, an image stabilizing agent that instills oil resistance in recorded images such as 4,4'-butylidene (6-t-butyl-3-methylphenol), 2,2'-di-t-butyl-5,5'-dimethyl-4,4'-sulfonyl diphenol, 1,1,3-tris (2-methyl-4-hydroxy-5-cyclohexylphenyl) butane, 1,1,3-tris (2-methyl-4-hydroxy-5-t-butylphenyl) butane, 4-benzyloxy-4'- (2,3-epoxy-2-methylpropoxy) diphenylsulfone and the like may also be added in the range that does not adversely affect the desired effects for the problems described above.

    [0035] In addition, a benzophenone type and triazole type UV light absorption agent, dispersion agent, de-foaming agent, antioxidant, fluorescent dye and the like may also be used.

    [0036] In the present invention, from 0.05 parts to 4.0 parts, preferably from 0.1 parts to 2.0 parts, of the color developing agent are ordinarily used per 1 part of the leuco dye. The types and amounts of sensitizer, binder, pigment, crosslinking agent, image stabilizing agent, and other optional ingredients are determined according to the required performance and printability and are not particularly restricted. However, from 0.1 parts to 10 parts of the sensitizer, from 0.5 parts to 50 parts of the pigment, from 0.01 parts to 10 parts of the image stabilizing agent and from 0.01 parts to 10 parts of the other ingredients are ordinarily used per 1 part of the leuco dye. The appropriate amount (in solid) of the binder is from 5 parts to 50 parts per 100 parts of the thermosensitive recording layer. The appropriate amount (in solid) of the slipping agent is from 5 parts to 10 parts per 100 parts of the thermosensitive recording layer.

    [0037] The leuco dye, the color developing agent and materials added when needed are finely ground into particles, several microns or smaller in size, using a grinder or a suitable emulsification device such as a ball mill, attritor, sand grinder and the like, and a coating solution is prepared by adding a binder and various additive materials depending on the objective. Water, alcohol and the like can be used as the solvent for the coating solution and the solid content of the coating solution is about from 20 to 40 wt.%.

    [0038] The protective layer may comprise the binder, the pigment, the crosslinking agent, and the other components usable for the aforementioned thermosensitive recording layer in range that does not adversely affect the desired advantages, but preferably comprises the binder and the pigment, and may further comprise the other components such as a surfactant and a viscosity adjusting agent.

    [0039] As the binder to be used for the protective layer, polyvinyl alcohols and acrylic resins are preferred among the binders usable for the above-mentioned thermosensitive recording layer.

    [0040] As the polyvinyl alcohols, completely saponified polyvinyl alcohol, carboxyl-modified polyvinyl alcohol, diacetone modified polyvinyl alcohol, acetoacetyl modified polyvinyl alcohol are preferred.

    [0041] As the monomer component (except olefin) copolymerizable with (meth) acrylic acid of the acrylic resin, alkyl acrylate resins, such as methyl (meth) acrylate, ethyl (meth) acrylate, propyl (meth) acrylate, butyl (meth) acrylate, isobutyl (meth) acrylate, pentyl (meth) acrylate, hexyl (meth) acrylate, 2-ethyl hexyl (meth)acrylate, octyl (meth) acrylate, and the like; epoxy resins; silicone resins; modified alkyl acrylate resins, such as alkyl acrylate resin modified with styrene or its derivative; (meth) acrylonitrile; acrylic acid ester; hydroxyalkyl acrylic acid ester and the like may be listed. The monomer is preferably alkyl acrylate resins, such as methyl (meth) acrylic acid, ethyl (meth) acrylic acid, (meth) acrylic acid propyl, butyl (meth) acrylic acid, isobutyl (meth) acrylic acid, pentyl (meth) acrylate, hexyl (meth) acrylic acid, (meth) hexyl to acrylic acid-2-ethyl, octyl (meth) acrylic acid, and the like; epoxy resins; silicone resins; modified alkyl acrylate resins, such as alkyl acrylate resin modified with styrene or its derivative; (meth) acrylonitrile; acrylic acid ester; or hydroxyalkyl acrylic acid ester, more preferably the alkyl acrylate resins is (meth) acrylonitrile or methyl (meth) acrylic acid.

    [0042] In order to improve the water resistance and the like, the protective layer may comprise a carboxyl group-containing resin as a binder and may further comprise a polyamine/polyamide resin.

    [0043] As the carboxyl group-containing resin, the aforementioned carboxy-modified polyvinyl alcohol, acrylic resin, oxidized starch, carboxymethyl cellulose and the like are cited.

    [0044] As the polyamine/polyamide resin, a polyamide urea resin, a polyalkylene polyamine resin, a polyalkylene polyamide resin, a polyamine polyurea resin, a modified polyamine resin, a modified polyamide resin, a polyalkylene polyamine urea formalin resin, a polyalkylene polyamine polyamide polyurea resin and the like are cited.

    [0045] When the protective layer comprises a pigment in the present invention, silica, kaolin, calcined kaolin and aluminum hydroxide are preferred as the pigment, since the water resistance and the printing (recording) run-ability of the thermosensitive recording medium become better.

    [0046] In the case when the protective layer of the present invention does not comprise a pigment, the amount (in solid) of the binder in the protective layer is usually from 70 to 100 % by weight, preferably from 85 to 100% by weight.

    [0047] On the other hand, when the protective layer of the present invention comprises a pigment, the total amount (in solid) of the binder and the pigment in the protective layer is usually from 80 to 100 % by weight, preferably from 90 to 100% by weight and the amount of the binder is preferably 30 to 300 parts by weight per 100 parts by weight of the pigment.

    [0048] The amount of the components other than the binder, the crosslinking agent and the pigment in the protective layer do not exceed 15% by weight, preferably 10% by weight.

    [0049] The optional coating layers, other than the thermosensitive recording layer and the protective layer, may comprise aforementioned binder, pigments, crosslinking agents and the other components in the range that does not adversely affect the desired advantages.

    [0050] The method for coating the thermosensitive recording layer, the protective layer and the other coating layer is not limited in particular, but any well-known conventional techniques may be used, such as curtain coating method, air knife coating method, bar blade coating method, rod blade coating method, bent blade coating method, bevel blade coating method, roll coating method, spray coating method and the like.

    [0051] The coating amounts of the thermosensitive recording layer, the protective layer and the other coating layer are determined according to the required performance and printability and are not particularly restricted, but the typical dried coating amount of the thermosensitive recording layer is ordinarily in the range of from 2 to 12 g/m2 and the typical dried coating amount of the protective layer is ordinarily in the range of from 1 to 5 g/m2.

    [0052] Furthermore, various technologies known in the thermosensitive recording medium field may be used as needed, for example, a flattening treatment such as super calendaring and the like can be conducted after coating each coating layer.

    Examples



    [0053]  The following Examples illustrate the present invention, but the Examples are not intended to limit the scope of the present invention. In the following description, the terms parts and % indicate parts by weight and weight %, respectively.

    [0054] The coating solutions and dispersions were prepared as described below.

    [0055] Undercoat layer coating solution was prepared by dispersing and stirring the following formulation:
    Undercoat layer coating solution
    Calcined kaolin (BASF Co.: Ansilex 90) 100.0 parts
    Styrene-butadiene copolymer latex (Zeon Corporation, ST5526, solid content: 48%) 10.0 parts
    Water 50.0 parts


    [0056] Color developing agent dispersions (Solutions A1 to A3) and leuco dye dispersions (Solutions B1 to B3) with the following formulations were separately wet ground using sand grinders until the average particle sizes were about 0.5 µm.
    Color developing agent dispersion (Solution A1)
    N-(2-(3-phenylureido) phenyl) benzenesulfonamide (Nippon Soda Co., Ltd. NKK 1304) 6.0 parts
    Aqueous solution of completely saponified polyvinyl alcohol (Kuraray Co., Ltd., PVA117, solid content: 10%) 5.0 parts
    Water 1.5 parts
    Color developing agent dispersion (Solution A2)
    3-(3-Tosylureido) phenyl-p-toluenesulfonate (BASF Japan Ltd. DP 201) 6.0 parts
    Aqueous solution of completely saponified polyvinyl alcohol (PVA117) 5.0 parts
    Water 1.5 parts
    Color developing agent dispersion (Solution A3)
    4-Hydroxy-4'-isopropoxydiphenylsulfone (Mitsubishi Chemical Corporation, NYDS) 6.0 parts
    Aqueous solution of completely saponified polyvinyl alcohol (PVA117) 5.0 parts
    Water 1.5 parts
    Leuco dye dispersion (Solution B1)
    3-Dibutylamino-6-methyl-7-anilinofluorane (Yamamoto Chemicals Inc.,ODB-2) 6.0 parts
    Aqueous solution of completely saponified polyvinyl alcohol (PVA117) 5.0 parts
    Water 1.5 parts
    Leuco dye dispersion (Solution B2)
    3-(N-ethyl-N-isoamylamino)-6-methyl-7-anilinofluoran (Yamada Chemical S-205) Co.,Ltd. 6.0 parts
    Aqueous solution of completely saponified polyvinyl alcohol (PVA117) 5.0 parts
    Water 1.5 parts
    Leuco dye dispersion (Solution B3)
    3-dipentylamino-6-methyl-7-anilinofluoran (Yamada Chemical Co.,Ltd. BLACK305) 6.0 parts
    Aqueous solution of completely saponified polyvinyl alcohol (PVA117) 5.0 parts
    Water 1.5 parts


    [0057] Next, these dispersions were blended in the proportion described below and were stirred until gluconolactone was completely dissolved, to prepare the thermosensitive recording layer coating solutions 1 and 2.
    Thermosensitive recording layer coating solution 1
    Gluconolactone (referred to as "GDL") (Kanto Chemical Industry Co., Ltd. Special deer grade) 1.0 parts
    Leuco dye dispersion (Solution B1) 10.0 parts
    Silica dispersion (Mizusawa Industrial Chemicals, Ltd., Mizukasil P-537, solid content: 25%) 20.0 parts
    Zinc stearate dispersion (Chukyo Yushi Co., Ltd.: Hydrin L536, solid content: 40%) 5.0 parts
    Aqueous solution of completely saponified polyvinyl alcohol (PVA117) 20.0 parts
    Thermosensitive recording layer coating solution 2
    Gluconolactone (referred to as "GDL") (Kanto Chemical Industry Co., Ltd. Special deer grade) 0.44 parts
    Color developing agent dispersion (Solution A1) 0.92 parts
    Leuco dye dispersion (Solution B1) 1.05 parts
    Silica dispersion (Mizusawa Industrial Chemicals, Ltd., Mizukasil P-537, solid content: 25%) 5.0 parts
    Zinc stearate dispersion (Chukyo Yushi Co., Ltd.: Hydrin L536, solid content: 40%) 5.0 parts
    Aqueous solution of completely saponified polyvinyl alcohol (PVA117) 20.0 parts


    [0058] Next, protective layer coating solution 1 was prepared by mixing the following formulations:
    Protective layer coating solution 1
    Aluminum hydroxide dispersion (Martinsberg: Martifin OL, solid content: 50%) 9.0 parts
    Aqueous solution of acetoacetyl modified polyvinyl alcohol (Nippon Synthetic Chemical Industry Co., Ltd., Gohsenex Z-220, solid content 10%) 30.0 parts
    Zinc stearate dispersion (Chukyo Yushi Co., Ltd.: HydrinZ-7-30, solid content: 30%) 2.0 parts
    Water 13.0 parts

    [Example 1]



    [0059] The undercoat layer coating solution was applied on one side of a substrate (groundwood free paper with a basis weight of 47g/m2) by using a bent blade coater with a coating amount (in solid) of 10.0 g/m2, and was dried to prepare an undercoated paper.

    [0060] The thermosensitive recording layer coating solution 1 (GDL in total color developing agent is 100 weight %, GDL in the thermosensitive recording layer is 6.6 weight %, ratio of color developing agent/leuco dye is 0.21) was applied on the undercoat layer of the undercoated paper by using a rod blade coater with a coating amount (in solid) of 6.0 g/m2 and was dried and super calendared so that the smoothness was 500-1,000 seconds to prepare a thermosensitive recording medium.

    [Example 2]



    [0061] A thermosensitive recording medium was prepared in the same manner as described in Example 1 using GDL 0.79 parts and the color developing agent dispersion (Solution A1) 0.41 parts in place of GDL 1.0 parts (i.e. GDL in total color developing agent is 80 weight %, GDL in the thermosensitive recording layer is 5.2 weight %, ratio of color developing agent/leuco dye is 0.20) in the thermosensitive recording layer coating solution 1.

    [Example 3]



    [0062] A thermosensitive recording medium was prepared in the same manner as described in Example 1 using GDL 0.59 parts and the color developing agent dispersion (Solution A1) 0.82 parts in place of GDL 1.0 parts (i.e. GDL in total color developing agent is 60 weight %, GDL in the thermosensitive recording layer is 3.9 weight %, ratio of color developing agent/leuco dye is 0.20) in the thermosensitive recording layer coating solution 1.

    [Example 4]



    [0063] A thermosensitive recording medium was prepared in the same manner as described in Example 1 using GDL 0.5 parts and the color developing agent dispersion (Solution A1) 1.04 parts in place of GDL 1.0 parts (i.e. GDL in total color developing agent is 50 weight %, GDL in the thermosensitive recording layer is 3.3 weight %, ratio of color developing agent/leuco dye is 0.21) in the thermosensitive recording layer coating solution 1.

    [Example 5]



    [0064] A thermosensitive recording medium was prepared in the same manner as described in Example 1 using GDL 0.4 parts and the color developing agent dispersion (Solution A1) 1.24 parts in place of GDL 1.0 parts (i.e. GDL in total color developing agent is 40 weight %, GDL in the thermosensitive recording layer is 2.6 weight %, ratio of color developing agent/leuco dye is 0.21) in the thermosensitive recording layer coating solution 1.

    [Example 6]



    [0065] A thermosensitive recording medium was prepared in the same manner as described in Example 1 using GDL 0.2 parts and the color developing agent dispersion (Solution A1) 1.66 parts in place of GDL 1.0 parts (i.e. GDL in total color developing agent is 20 weight %, GDL in the thermosensitive recording layer is 1.3 weight %, ratio of color developing agent/leuco dye is 0.21) in the thermosensitive recording layer coating solution 1.

    [Example 7]



    [0066] A thermosensitive recording medium was prepared in the same manner as described in Example 1 using GDL 1.04 parts and the color developing agent dispersion (Solution A1) 1.09 parts in place of GDL 1.0 parts (i.e. GDL in total color developing agent is 67 weight %, GDL in the thermosensitive recording layer is 6.6 weight %, ratio of color developing agent/leuco dye is 0.33) and adding water 1.4 parts in the thermosensitive recording layer coating solution 1.

    [Example 8]



    [0067] A thermosensitive recording medium was prepared in the same manner as described in Example 1 using GDL 1.09 parts and the color developing agent dispersion (Solution A1) 2.27 parts in place of GDL 1.0 parts (i.e. GDL in total color developing agent is 50 weight %, GDL in the thermosensitive recording layer is 6.6 weight %, ratio of color developing agent/leuco dye is 0.45) and adding water 2.7 parts in the thermosensitive recording layer coating solution 1.

    [Example 9]



    [0068] A thermosensitive recording medium was prepared in the same manner as described in Example 1 using GDL 0.76 parts and the color developing agent dispersion (Solution A1) 1.58 parts in place of GDL 1.0 parts (i.e. GDL in total color developing agent is 50 weight %, GDL in the thermosensitive recording layer is 6.6) and changing the amount of the leuco dye dispersion (Solution B1) from 10.0 parts to 1.8 parts (i.e. ratio of color developing agent/leuco dye is 1.76) in the thermosensitive recording layer coating solution 1.

    [Example 10]



    [0069] A thermosensitive recording medium was prepared in the same manner as described in Example 1 using GDL 0.59 parts and the color developing agent dispersion (Solution A2) 0.82 parts in place of GDL 1.0 parts (i.e. GDL in total color developing agent is 60 weight %, GDL in the thermosensitive recording layer is 3.9 weight %, ratio of color developing agent/leuco dye is 0.20) in the thermosensitive recording layer coating solution 1.

    [Example 11]



    [0070] A thermosensitive recording medium was prepared in the same manner as described in Example 1 using GDL 0.76 parts and the color developing agent dispersion (Solution A2) 1.58 parts in place of GDL 1.0 parts (i.e. GDL in total color developing agent is 50 weight %, GDL in the thermosensitive recording layer is 6.6) and changing the amount of leuco dye dispersion (Solution B1) from 10.0 parts to 1.8 parts (i.e. ratio of color developing agent/leuco dye is 1.76) in the thermosensitive recording layer coating solution 1.

    [Example 12]



    [0071] A thermosensitive recording medium was prepared in the same manner as described in Example 1 using GDL 0.4 parts and the color developing agent dispersion (Solution A2) 1.24 parts in place of GDL 1.0 parts (i.e. GDL in total color developing agent is 40 weight %, GDL in the thermosensitive recording layer is 2.6 weight %, ratio of color developing agent/leuco dye is 0.21) in the thermosensitive recording layer coating solution 1.

    [Example 13]



    [0072] A thermosensitive recording medium was prepared in the same manner as described in Example 1 using GDL 0.59 parts and the color developing agent dispersion (Solution A3) 0.82 parts in place of GDL 1.0 parts (i.e. GDL in total color developing agent is 60 weight %, GDL in the thermosensitive recording layer is 3.9 weight %, ratio of color developing agent/leuco dye is 0.20) in the thermosensitive recording layer coating solution 1.

    [Example 14]



    [0073] A thermosensitive recording medium was prepared in the same manner as described in Example 1 using leuco dye dispersion (Solution B2) in place of leuco dye dispersion (Solution B1) (i.e. ratio of color developing agent/leuco dye is 0.21) in the thermosensitive recording layer coating solution 1.

    [Example 15]



    [0074] A thermosensitive recording medium was prepared in the same manner as described in Example 1 using leuco dye dispersion (Solution B3) in place of leuco dye dispersion (Solution B1) (i.e. ratio of color developing agent/leuco dye is 0.21) in the thermosensitive recording layer coating solution 1.

    [Example 16]



    [0075] A thermosensitive recording medium was prepared in the same manner as described in Example 1 changing the amount of GDL from 10.0 parts to 2.16 parts (i.e. GDL in total color developing agent is 100 weight %, GDL in the thermosensitive recording layer is 13.2 weight %, ratio of color developing agent/leuco dye is 0.45) and adding water 3.5 parts in the thermosensitive recording layer coating solution 1.

    [Example 17]



    [0076] A thermosensitive recording medium was prepared in the same manner as described in Example 1 changing the amount of GDL from 10.0 parts to 3.53 parts (i.e. GDL in total color developing agent is 100 weight %, GDL in the thermosensitive recording layer is 19.9 weight %, ratio of color developing agent/leuco dye is 0.74) and adding water 7.1 parts in the thermosensitive recording layer coating solution 1.

    [Example 18]



    [0077] The undercoat layer coating solution was applied on one side of a substrate (groundwood free paper with a basis weight of 47g/m2) by using a bent blade coater with a coating amount (in solid) of 10.0 g/m2, and was dried to prepare an undercoated paper.

    [0078] The thermosensitive recording layer coating solution 2 (GDL in total color developing agent is 50 weight %, GDL in the thermosensitive recording layer is 6.6 weight %, ratio of color developing agent/leuco dye is 1.75) was applied on the undercoat layer of the undercoated paper by using a rod blade coater with a coating amount (in solid) of 6.0 g/m2 and was dried and super calendared so that the smoothness was 500-1,000 seconds to prepare a thermosensitive recording layer coated paper.

    [0079] Then the protective layer coating solution 1 was applied on the thermosensitive recording layer by using a rod blade coater with a coating amount (in solid) of 3.0 g/m2 and was dried and super calendared so that the smoothness was 1500-2,000 seconds to prepare a thermosensitive recording medium.

    [Comparative Example 1]



    [0080] A thermosensitive recording medium was prepared in the same manner as described in Example 1 using L-ascorbic acid (Wako Pure Chemical Industries, Ltd. Special grade) 1.0 parts in place of GDL 1.0 parts (i.e. ratio of color developing agent/leuco dye is 0.21) in the thermosensitive recording layer coating solution 1.

    [Comparative Example 2]



    [0081] A thermosensitive recording medium was prepared in the same manner as described in Example 1 using citric acid (Wako Pure Chemical Industries, Ltd. Special grade) 1.0 parts in place of GDL 1.0 parts (i.e. ratio of color developing agent/leuco dye is 0.21) in the thermosensitive recording layer coating solution 1.

    [0082] The thermosensitive recording media obtained were evaluated as described below.

    <Whiteness>



    [0083] The whiteness of the thermosensitive recording surface was measured by using a spectrophotometer (Murakami Color Research Laboratory Co., Ltd., CMS-35 SPX) according to JIS P 8148, immediately after preparation of the thermosensitive recording medium and after standing under conditions of 23 degree C and 50% RH for 2 weeks.

    <Color development sensitivity (Recorded density)>



    [0084] The prepared thermosensitive recording medium was printed (Relative brightness: +15, Printing speed: 50.8 mm/sec (2 inches/sec) by using a label printer (140XiIII manufactured by Zebra Co., Ltd.). The density of the recorded image was measured by using Macbeth Densitometer (RD-914, with Amber filter).

    <Thermal Resistance>



    [0085] The prepared thermosensitive recording medium was printed (Relative brightness: +15, Printing speed: 50.8 mm/sec (2 inches/sec) by using a label printer (140XiIII manufactured by Zebra Co., Ltd.).

    [0086] The printed samples were placed in an environment at 60 degree C for 8 hours then left standing under conditions of 23 degree C and 50% RH for 3 hours.

    [0087] The color density of the printed area of the samples were measured by using Macbeth Densitometer (RD-914, with Amber filter) to calculate the residual ratio from the difference between the color densities before and after the treatment. The thermal resistance was evaluated on the following criteria. If the residual ratio is 60% or more, no problem happens in the practical use.


    <Hygrothermal resistance>



    [0088] The prepared thermosensitive recording medium was printed (Relative brightness: +15, Printing speed: 50.8 mm/sec (2 inches/sec) by using a label printer (140XiIII manufactured by Zebra Co., Ltd.).

    [0089] The printed samples were placed in an environment at 40 degree C and 90% RH for 8 hours then left standing under conditions of 23 degree C and 50% RH for 3 hours.

    [0090] The color density of the printed area of the samples were measured by using Macbeth Densitometer (RD-914, with Amber filter) to calculate the residual ratio from the difference between the color densities before and after the treatment. The hygrothermal resistance was evaluated on the following criteria. If the residual ratio is 60% or more, no problem happens in the practical use.


    <Water resistance>



    [0091] The prepared thermosensitive recording medium was printed (Relative brightness: +15, Printing speed: 50.8 mm/sec (2 inches/sec) by using a label printer (140XiIII manufactured by Zebra Co., Ltd.).

    [0092] The printed samples were immersed in water at 23 degree C for 24 hours, then were air dried.

    [0093] The color density of the printed area of the air dried samples were measured by using Macbeth Densitometer (RD-914, with Amber filter) to calculate the residual ratio from the difference between the color densities before and after the treatment. The water resistance was evaluated on the following criteria. If the residual ratio is 60% or more, no problem happens in the practical use.



    [0094] The evaluation results are shown in Table 1.
    [Table 1]
     Color developing agentLeuco dyeColor developing agent/Leuco dyeProtective layerEvaluation results
    Amount in thermosensitive recording layer (%)Gluconolactone/others
    GluconolactoneColor developing agent with urea structureOthersWhiteness ISO-BColor development sensitivityThermal Resistance (residual ratio)Hygrothermal Resistance (residual ratio)Water Resistance (residual ratio)
    immediately after preparationafter 2 weeks
    Example 1 6.6% - - 100/0 ODB2 0.21 - 85% 84% 1.00 72% 80% 87%
    Example 2 5.2% NKK1304 1.3% - 80/20 ODB2 0.20 - 84% 83% 1.19 84% 93% 86%
    Example 3 3.9% NKK1304 2.6% - 60/40 ODB2 0.20 - 84% 84% 1.31 91% 95% 86%
    Example 4 3.3% NKK1304 3.3% - 50/50 ODB2 0.21 - 84% 84% 1.35 92% 95% 86%
    Example 5 2.6% NKK1304 3.9% - 40/60 ODB2 0.21 - 85% 84% 1.43 94% 95% 88%
    Example 6 1.3% NKK1304 5.2% - 20/80 ODB2 0.21 - 85% 84% 1.43 94% 96% 88%
    Example 7 6.6% NKK1304 3.3% - 67/33 ODB2 0.33 - 84% 83% 1.35 90% 95% 85%
    Example 8 6.6% NKK1304 6.6% - 50/50 ODB2 0.45 - 85% 84% 1.45 94% 96% 89%
    Example 9 6.6% NKK1304 6.6% - 50/50 ODB2 1.76 - 85% 84% 1.41 92% 94% 89%
    Example 10 3.9% DP201 2.6% - 60/40 ODB2 0.20 - 84% 84% 1.28 89% 82% 85%
    Example 11 6.6% DP201 6.6% - 50/50 ODB2 1.76 - 84% 83% 1.42 94% 96% 93%
    Example 12 2.6% DP201 3.9% - 40/60 ODB2 0.21 - 84% 83% 1.45 94% 95% 91%
    Example 13 3.9% - NYDS 2.6% 60/40 ODB2 0.20 - 84% 84% 1.23 91% 88% 82%
    Example 14 6.6% - - 100/0 S-205 0.21 - 83% 82% 0.90 79% 81% 84%
    Example 15 6.6% - - 100/0 BLACK305 0.21 - 88% 88% 0.86 67% 85% 87%
    Example 16 13.2% - - 100/0 ODB2 0.45 - 84% 82% 0.95 69% 76% 85%
    Example 17 19.9% - - 100/0 ODB2 0.74 - 83% 80% 0.91 62% 68% 81%
    Example 18 6.6% NKK1304 6.6% - 50/50 ODB2 1.75 installed 86% 85% 1.38 93% 94% 93%
    Comparative Example 1 - - L-ascorbic acid 6.5% 0/100 ODB2 0.21 - 83% 78% 1.00 71% 80% 88%
    Comparative Example 2 - - Citric acid 6.5% 0/100 ODB2 0.21 - 85% 85% 1.01 33% 55% 64%


    [0095] As shown in Table 1, gluconolactone alone exhibits almost the same performance as ascorbic acid as a color developing agent, while gluconolactone shows a better result in the decrease in whiteness over time than that of ascorbic acid alone (Example 1 vs Comparative Example 1). Citric acid alone shows almost the same Color development sensitivity (Recorded density) as gluconolactone alone, while citric acid alone shows inferior thermal resistance and water resistance to gluconolactone (Example 1 vs Comparative Example 2).

    [0096] Further, when gluconolactone is used in combination with other color developing agent, the performance as a thermosensitive recording medium is better than gluconolactone alone, although the advantage of being environment-friendly decreases (Example 1 vs Comparative Examples 2-13).

    [0097] In particular, when gluconolactone is used in combination with a color developing agent having a urea structure, it shows a superior performance (in particular, color development property) (Example 13 vs Examples 3 and 10).


    Claims

    1. A thermosensitive recording medium having a thermosensitive recording layer comprising a colorless or pale colored electron donating leuco dye and an electron accepting color developing agent on a substrate, wherein the thermosensitive recording layer comprises a gluconolactone as the electron accepting color developing agent.
     
    2. The thermosensitive recording medium of claim 1, wherein the solid content of the gluconolactone in the thermosensitive recording layer is from 1 to 18 weight %.
     
    3. The thermosensitive recording medium of claim 1 or 2, wherein the weight ratio of the electron accepting color developing agent to the electron donating leuco dye is from 0.05 to 4.0.
     
    4. The thermosensitive recording medium of any of claims 1-3, further comprising a color developing agent having a urea structure (-NHCONH-) as the electron accepting color developing agent.
     
    5. The thermosensitive recording medium of claim 4, wherein the weight ratio of the gluconolactone to the color developing agent having a urea structure (-NHCONH-) in the electron accepting color developing agent is 40/60 or more.
     


    Ansprüche

    1. Wärmeempfindliches Aufzeichnungsmedium mit einer wärmeempfindlichen Aufzeichnungsschicht, umfassend einen farblosen oder blass gefärbten Elektronendonator-Leucofarbstoff und ein elektronenakzeptierendes Farbentwicklungsmittel auf einem Substrat, wobei die wärmeempfindliche Aufzeichnungsschicht ein Gluconolacton als das elektronenakzeptierende Farbentwicklungsmittel umfasst.
     
    2. Wärmeempfindliches Aufzeichnungsmedium nach Anspruch 1, wobei der Festgehalt des Gluconolactons in der wärmeempfindlichen Aufzeichnungsschicht von 1 bis 18 Gewichts-% ist.
     
    3. Wärmeempfindliches Aufzeichnungsmedium nach Anspruch 1 oder 2, wobei das Gewichtsverhältnis des elektronenakzeptierenden Farbentwicklungsmittels zu dem Elektronendonator-Leucofarbstoff von 0.05 bis 4.0 ist.
     
    4. Wärmeempfindliches Aufzeichnungsmedium nach einem der Ansprüche 1 bis 3, ferner umfassend ein Farbentwicklungsmittel mit einer Ureastruktur (-NHCONH-) als das elektronenakzeptierende Farbentwicklungsmittel.
     
    5. Wärmeempfindliches Aufzeichnungsmedium nach Anspruch 4, wobei das Gewichtsverhältnis des Gluconolactons zu dem Farbentwicklungsmittel mit einer Ureastruktur (-NHCONH-) in dem elektronenakzeptierenden Farbentwicklungsmittel 40/60 oder mehr ist.
     


    Revendications

    1. Média d'enregistrement thermosensible ayant une couche d'enregistrement thermosensible comprenant un leuco-colorant donneur d'électrons incolore ou faiblement coloré et un agent de développement de couleur receveur d'électrons sur un substrat, dans lequel la couche d'enregistrement thermosensible comprend une gluconolactone comme un agent de développement de couleur receveur d'électrons,
     
    2. Média d'enregistrement thermosensible selon la revendication 1, dans lequel la teneur en gluconolactone solide de la couche d'enregistrement sensible est de 1 à 18% en poids.
     
    3. Média d'enregistrement thermosensible selon la revendication 1 ou 2, dans lequel le rapport en poids entre l'agent de développement de couleur receveur d'électrons et le leuco-colorant donneur d'électrons est de 0,05 à 4,0.
     
    4. Média d'enregistrement thermosensible selon l'une quelconque des revendications 1 à 3, comprenant en outre un agent de développement de couleur ayant une structure urée (-NHCONH-) comme agent de développement de couleur receveur d'électrons.
     
    5. Média d'enregistrement thermosensible selon la revendication 4, dans lequel le rapport en poids entre la gluconolactone et l'agent de développement de couleur ayant une structure urée (-NHCONH-) dans l'agent de développement de couleur receveur d'électrons est de 40/60 ou plus.
     






    Cited references

    REFERENCES CITED IN THE DESCRIPTION



    This list of references cited by the applicant is for the reader's convenience only. It does not form part of the European patent document. Even though great care has been taken in compiling the references, errors or omissions cannot be excluded and the EPO disclaims all liability in this regard.

    Patent documents cited in the description