How to Choose the Right Thermal Transfer Ribbons

2024-03-08 12:01

One of the key consumables for barcode printers is the thermal transfer ribbon, which is generally divided into three types: wax, wax/resin, and resin, each with its unique characteristics and application scenarios. So, when printing barcode labels, how should one choose the appropriate thermal transfer ribbon?


Determine Printing Needs

Firstly, you need to clarify your printing needs.

If your barcode labels require long-term preservation or use in harsh environments such as high temperature and humidity, frequent friction, like fixed asset labels, outdoor equipment labels, and chemical barcode labels, then choosing a resin thermal transfer ribbon is more appropriate. It has the characteristics of high temperature resistance, friction resistance, and corrosion resistance, ensuring the durability and clarity of the print.

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If there are no special requirements for print quality, then a more economical wax thermal transfer printing ribbon is better.

Consider Label Material

The material of the barcode label directly affects the choice of thermal transfer ribbon.

For example, for printing on coated paper labels, wax or wax/resin ribbons are recommended. These ribbons can produce clear printing effects on coated paper and have good adhesiveness.

Resin ribbons, known for their excellent high-temperature resistance, friction resistance, and chemical resistance, are widely used in the printing industry.

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These ribbons can form a firm ink film on labels of different materials, commonly used for PET, vinyl, fabric, and wash care labels printing.

Match the Printer Head Type

The printer head of barcode printers come in two types, flat printhead and near-edge printhead, which is also an important factor to consider.


1. Flat Printhead

This kind of printhead applies uniform pressure on the printing material during the printing process. Thermal transfer ribbons for flat printhead generally have higher thermal sensitivity and an even ink layer. The material of these ribbons might be finer to meet the high requirements for detail and print quality.

2. Near Edge Printhead

A near edge printhead mainly applies pressure on the edges of the material, hence better printing effects on the edges.

This kind of printer heads are usually used in situations where the print quality requirement is not particularly high. Ribbons suitable for this are engineered for optimal thermal transfer at the edges, guaranteeing sharp and clear results, even at high speeds.

When choosing thermal transfer ribbons for barcode printers, the key is to match the printing needs, label material, and printer head type. Of course, you can also refer to the printer’s user manual or consult the manufacturer to confirm whether the selected ribbon type is suitable for your printer. By considering these factors and based on actual application scenarios and needs, you will make a wise choice.

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