Resin thermal transfer ribbons - the ink is made mainly on the basis of resin with appropriate additives. The ribbons are most commonly used in the industry for printing nameplates, product and identification labels; in places where the aspect of cost is less significant than quality requirements and resistance of (...)
Wax/resin thermal transfer ribbons - the ink consists of wax and resin. Ribbons of this type are intended for printing paper matte and semi-gloss labels where print has to be more resistant to abrasion. They are used mainly in the fields of logistics and warehousing where, as a result of (...)
Wax thermal transfer ribbons - the ink is made on the basis of wax, sometimes with a little resin additive. Wax ribbons are used mostly for printing paper matte and semi-gloss labels. The imprint is characterised by low resistance to abrasion. Therefore, the ribbons are intended for printing temporary markings. (...)
TTO ribbons are used to print variable information directly on foil packaging. Thermal Transfer Overprint enable printing of the production date, expiration date, production lot number in real time at very high speed. TTO wax-resin ribbons are most often used by manufacturers of food and hygiene products. If the print (...)
Thermal transfer ribbons
Thermal transfer ribbons are tried-and-tested products, used by companies around the world for 40 years, i.e., since the appearance of the first printer for thermal transfer printing. As a thermal transfer ribbon converter, Etisoft cooperates with the best manufacturers of this type of products and cares for their proper processing (trimming), making them ready for use in different models of printers. Our high-quality and various thermal transfer ribbons have gained recognition among a wide range of customers – from the logistics industry to the textile industry and the automotive industry.
Thermal transfer ribbon – what is it?
In order to print markings commonly used quickly and conveniently in logistics or trade you need three things – thermal transfer printer, printable label, and thermal transfer ribbon. A thermal transfer ribbon, apart from ink, consists of three more layers: a primer which facilitates the transfer, a polyester film which performs the function of a carrier and a liner to provide the right glide and thus protect the print head against abrasion.
Why is the selection of the right thermal transfer ribbons important?
The right choice of thermal transfer ribbons allows for a clear and durable print, so much desired by many companies. However, you should remember that the quality of print does not depend only on the type and quality of thermal transfer ink. This is also impacted by the label printer since it is responsible for transferring ink to the label. The quality of the top layer of the consumable material itself used for printing is significant as well.
Moreover, different types of thermal transfer ribbons are designed for different needs. A product which works perfectly in one company may turn out to be useless in another because it will not meet the specific requirements of its activity (for instance, the print will be destroyed as a result of washing). The choice also frequently concerns the optimisation of printing costs, i.e., the choice of such a ribbon which will provide satisfactory print quality and at the same time you will not overpay for. We suggest what type of a thermal transfer ribbon will work with different types of needs.
Types of thermal transfer ribbons
Wax thermal transfer ribbons
As the name suggests, wax ribbons contain a wax-based ink, sometimes with the addition of a small amount of resin. The printing material dedicated to this type of thermal transfer ribbons are matt or semi-gloss paper labels. Because of the fact that the printing made with them has poor abrasion resistance, it is recommended that they be used for short-term and standard markings, such as GS1 shipping labels or transport labels. Wax thermal transfer ribbons are the cheapest type of ribbons.
Etisoft’s offer includes the GRAPHITE WAX ribbon. It is a high-quality product, which can be used to obtain clear prints of bar codes or 2D codes. Its indisputable advantage is the low printing temperature and adaptation to work with printers providing high print speed – even up to 254 mm/s. The GRAPHITE WAX thermal transfer ribbon can be used in many industries for printing product, identification, and logistics labels.
Wax/resin thermal transfer ribbons
These are ribbons based on a mixture of wax and resin. They are intended primarily for cases where the markings made with them may be exposed to damage as a result of friction or scratches. The wax/resin thermal transfer ribbon is compatible with coated papers and a large part of foils. It can be used to create permanent print on glossy or matt paper labels. It is used mainly to mark products, pallets and packaging in logistics and transport processes due to the fact that operations conducted there, such as sorting or moving the load can lead to smudging of the print, which will make it useless for identification processes.
Etisoft suggests GRAPHITE wax/resin thermal transfer ribbons in two types, which can work both with printers with Flat Head print heads and devices with Near Edge print heads.
- GRAPHITE MIX – the use of this ribbon guarantees high-quality prints. It can be used for printing markings on self-adhesive and adhesive-free labels – on both coated and uncoated papers.
- GRAPHITE MIX PACK is a thermal transfer ribbon dedicated for printing markings on flexible unit packaging, such as product batches and best-before dates on food packaging. The print made with it will be characterised by high mechanical damage resistance. The ink formula is able to eliminate electrostatic charges, therefore there is no risk of the print head being damaged by them when printing at the maximum speed.
Resin thermal transfer ribbons
Resin thermal transfer ribbons are made on the basis of resin with appropriate additives. These should not contain wax as, although this facilitates the transfer of ink to the label, it reduces the resistance of print to abrasion and solvents. High-quality resin thermal transfer ribbons have exceptional heat and chemical resistance. For that reason, they are typically used to create permanent prints in industry, such as, for example, rating plates, identification, and product labels. They can even be used to make labels which can be successfully exposed to detergents, common cleaning products, washing processes, surface mounting of electronic circuits and powder coating. However, such good quality is followed by a higher price – resin thermal transfer ribbons are the most expensive type of ribbons.
Etisoft offers, among other things, resin thermal transfer ribbons from the GRAPHITE group in three types:
- GRAPHITE RESIN – its use will make it possible to obtain high quality prints of foil product and identification labels as well as labels for pallets, containers for multiple use or racks. If UL certification is not required, the GRAPHITE RESIN thermal transfer ribbon can be a good alternative to the Diamond Resin SP ribbon.
- GRAPHITE RESIN ED is a ribbon that works with printers equipped with near-edge print heads. It is perfect for applications requiring particularly good abrasion resistance and where high print quality must be maintained at print speeds of up to 254 mm/s, It works well when it comes to printing bar codes, graphics, and text in very small fonts. GRAPHITE RESIN ED resin thermal transfer ribbon is UL-certified when used with recommended materials.
- GRAPHITE RESIN TX is a ribbon dedicated for the textile industry. It can be used regardless of what type of print head the printer has – flat or near-edge. With its use markings in the form of bar codes and 2D codes can be made, which are applied to satin or nylon textile sewn-in labels. The ribbon will provide perfect durability for the markings even after repeated chemical and mechanical washing. GRAPHITE RESIN TX ribbons are certified according to OEKO-TEX standard 100 Class I.
Basic parameters of thermal transfer ribbons
When choosing a thermal transfer ribbon, a number of factors should be taken into consideration. The first one is of course the type of the ribbon. You can choose from wax, wax/resin, and resin ribbons, but there are also resin ribbons dedicated specifically for textiles and inline ribbons for printing directly on flexible packaging.
The second important issue are the parameters of the ribbon roll itself. It is recommended that its width is a bit larger than the width of the label roll. At Etisoft we offer ribbons in different widths. In turn, the length of the roll and the diameter of the roll should be chosen taking into consideration the model of the printer. The recommended roll length for office devices is 74÷110 m, for industrial printers 300÷450 m, whereas for TTO printers – up to 900 m. You should also pay attention to the winding method – OUT or IN – and the diameter of the core (the so-called kern). It can amount to 1″ or 1/2″.
Another issue is the colour of a thermal transfer ribbon. Black and white ribbons are most commonly used, but it is worth knowing that there is a range of colour and metallic ribbons. What is more, there are also ribbons on the market designed to provide product authenticity. What we mean here are ribbons that make it possible to obtain printing that is visible only under ultraviolet light or a hologram print.
Some thermal transfer ribbons are equipped with a special CleanStart ribbon. It is a cleaning ribbon which will make it possible to keep the print head in good condition for longer time and will positively impact on the very print quality.
You should also pay attention whether a given thermal transfer ribbon is compatible with the printer you have. The ribbons offered by Etisoft work perfectly with the majority of popular devices, including printers of such brands as CITIZEN, TSC, PRINTRONIX, ZEBRA, AND HONEYWELL.
At Etisoft you will buy the best thermal transfer ribbons
At Etisoft we pay great attention to quality. That is why we cooperate only with trusty and renowned manufacturers of thermal transfer ribbons. Their ribbons are designed to use the maximum print speed of printers and ensure durable and clear overprint. They were also designed to provide the longest possible print head life. Our role is to trim the ribbons to a proper length so that they can be used by owners of various printer models.
Our specialists offer their support in choosing a thermal transfer ribbon suitable for your needs. We will be happy to learn more about your business activity and help you choose a product that will optimise your costs, and, at the same time, provide durable and clear prints. You are welcome to contact us!