Thermal labels are used for printing information like shipping information, barcodes, ingredients and dates usually seen in stores both online and offline.
Thermal transfer labels last longer than direct thermal labels and can withstand moisture and abrasion. They can also withstand weather exposure to UV rays better than direct thermal labels. When using labels in controlled environments or simpler applications that have a short lifespan, direct thermal labels are a great option.
Resin Thermal Transfer Ribbon
There are three types of thermal ribbons, including wax, wax-resin and resin. Resin ribbons are developed to print onto plastic labels like polyester and vinyl. Ink formulas coat one side of the ribbon and once the printer applies heat from the print head, the ink is released and stuck to the label or tag. Thermal ribbons can be stored for about two years before they begin to dry out.
Direct Thermal Labels
A cost-effective type of label, direct thermal labels are made with the direct thermal printing process. They are created by using a thermal print head to carefully heat specific areas of coated, thermo-chromatic or thermal paper which darkens the required area. Direct thermal printers do not require ink, toner, or ribbon.
To create the desired image, a sensitive chemically-treated material which makes up the direct thermal labels, is heated, which turns the label dark wherever the heat is placed.