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Thermal Label Printers

About Thermal Label Printing

There are three types of thermal barcode label printer technology: direct thermal, thermal transfer, and inkjet label printing.

Direct thermal printing applies heat directly to a specially coated label to activate the ink on it and produce the image, usually in black but a second color option is available. Direct thermal is a cost effective solution as no consumables such as ribbons or ink are required. The output from a direct thermal barcode label printer is not as durable as other printing technologies as the paper is highly sensitive to UV light, heat, moisture, smudging, and scratching.

Thermal transfer printing applies heat from the printhead to the thermal transfer ribbon, which is coated with wax, resin, or a combination of both. The heat melts the coating and transfers the image to the label creating a highly durable image. Thermal transfer is more expensive but provides more lasting labels for a wider range of applications that can withstand exposure to UV light, moisture, extreme heat or cold, chemicals, scratching, and smudging.

Inkjet printing produces tiny dots of ink to create the image, the more dots per inch (dpi), the higher the quality of the image. The output from an inkjet label printer is not as durable as other printing technologies as the ink is highly sensitive to UV light, moisture, smudging, and scratching, but is able to produce full colour labels for a wide range of uses.

See our range of inkjet label printers here Colour Label Printers