Thermal Transfer Printing 101

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Time to go back to the basics. What is thermal transfer printing and what is a ribbon?

A thermal transfer ribbon is a film that is used in thermal transfer printing to create high-quality, durable prints on a variety of materials. The ribbon is made up of three layers: the base film, the ink layer, and the coating.

During the printing process, the ribbon is placed between the printhead and the media to be printed on. The printhead heats up and melts the ink layer on the ribbon, which then transfers to the media to create the desired image or text. The coating layer on the ribbon protects the ink layer from smudging, fading, or scratching.

Thermal transfer ribbons are available in a variety of colors and formulations, including wax, wax-resin, and resin. Each formulation is designed for different printing applications and materials. For example, wax ribbons are suitable for printing on paper labels and tags, while resin ribbons are ideal for printing on synthetic materials like polyester or polypropylene.

Overall, thermal transfer ribbons are a key component in the printing process for creating high-quality, durable prints that can withstand harsh environments and demanding applications.