When Should You Consider Using Synthetic Thermal Labels?

Date Posted:20 January 2021 

When Should You Consider Using Synthetic Thermal Labels? main image When Should You Consider Using Synthetic Thermal Labels? image

Paper label stock suits a vast range of applications, but there are certain times where you need something more rugged and durable. In these cases, synthetic barcode labels can provide peace of mind that important information won’t rub, fade or wash away. Polypro synthetic labels can cost slightly more than paper stock, so how can you be sure you’ll be getting full value by choosing this option?     

Where synthetic labels will be a solid choice

Synthetic labels are:

  • Highly resistant to scuffing and rubbing, for example where products might be exposed to harsh weather
  • Ideal in high moisture situations – for example, fridges, freezers or where the item is exposed to rainfall or water spray.
  • Suitable for extremely hot and cold environments. Polypro synthetic labels suit extreme temperatures between -25°C and 50°C, for example, while polyester thermal transfer labels will suit temperatures between -40°C and 150°C.
  • Plant Nurseries – synthetic labels are perfectly suited to plant nursery applications due to their high durability and water resistance.


So if you need your labels to be able to cope with harsh environments of any kind, consider synthetic! Synthetic labels are commonly used for plant nurseries and outdoor applications, and in case you were wondering about those ‘poly’ options:

  • Polypropylene labels are highly durable and available as clear labels for a “no label” look. And,
  • Polyester provides superior resistance around water, oils and chemicals.


A reminder about ribbons

If you’re printing synthetic labels you’ll be printing using the thermal transfer method. This process melts a substrate from a ribbon onto the label stock. There are several options for ribbons:

  • Wax ribbon, which is the softest and most cost-effective but suits mostly paper stock.
  • Wax/resin ribbon, which is more durable and suitable for most logistics and food applications. Wax/resin thermal transfer ribbon is more smear and rub resistant on synthetic stock than full wax. And,
  • Full resin ribbon, which is another step up in price but will chemically bond with synthetic stock for a highly durable result. 


We can understand that finding the ideal combination of synthetic label and ribbon choice can be a little overwhelming, particularly when you’re first getting your labelling system organised. Our Helpdesk provides a helpful resource for the basics of labelling and printing. And our Australian team manufactures labels locally, so you can consider us your go-to team for reliable and rapid label delivery. We’ve made it easy for you to send us a general inquiry or specific product inquiry right here

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