(Exclusively from K-Sun) Thermal Printing Technology: How do the letters get on the labels, anyway?

by Guest on September 21, 2011

(special thanks to K-Sun for guest blogging the content below!)K-Sun Green Machine Thermal Transfer Tapes

Do you remember the very first label makers? They created letters from a pinwheel using mechanical pressure called embossing on a thick label tape and later, on a tape with a carbon layer.

Today, thermal printing technology is the most common method used in most electronic label printers. There are two types: Thermal Transfer and Direct Thermal printing technologies. Both use a heated print head to create letters, symbols, graphics and/or bar codes on tape.

Thermal Transfer printing uses heat to transfer wax or resin from a ribbon on to adhesive tape or other materials, and the resin is fused to the label or heat-shrink tube.

Direct Thermal printing also uses heat to create letters are directly on a coated tape or paper without a ribbon, resin, ink or toner. The heat creates an image in the coating. Both processes are very quick and the heated image sets instantly.

Because the thermal transfer technology fuses the image to the material, it is more durable than direct thermal printing and can use many more types of media, such as heat-shrink tubing, polyester and other substrates.

Three types of ribbon are used in thermal transfer technology: 1) Wax has some smudge resistance and is used for matte and semi-gloss paper labels; 2) Wax/Resin is smudge-resistant and used on semi-gloss paper and some synthetic labels; and 3) Resin is scratch- and chemical-resistant and used on coated synthetic labels.

K-Sun LABELShop® tapes use Resin thermal transfer ribbon technology because of its supreme UV, scratch, fade, chemical, temperature and smear resistance.

Thermal transfer technology is ideal for bar code labels and other permanent labels such as industrial labels requiring longevity because of the sharpness and fine definition of the letters and images combined with the durability of the material that can be used.

In contrast, direct thermal printing is more susceptible to fading, smearing, smudging , cracking or rubbing of the letters, so it is not an optimum solution for industrial, manufacturing, outdoor, lab, office and shop applications.

K-Sun printers employ thermal transfer technology because of this durability, professional quality and longevity of labels for asset management, pipe installation, electrical wire/cabling and IT identification and many more applications.

K-Sun LABELShop® tapes are made of durable, all-weather polyester base material with a permanent, industrial grade acrylic adhesive. Tapes are flexible for curved surface labeling and the adhesive can be adhered to itself for wire tabbing and flagging. Tapes have a five- to seven-year outdoor life, depending on exposure conditions, and in some instance have lasted 15+ years, depending on color of label.

K-Sun LABELShop® heat-shrink tube cartridges are made of an industrial-grade polyolefin base material. The shrink rate of the material is 50 percent or more in diameter and 15 percent or less in length. Wire wrap tape prints on the white area of the label and has a clear tail that overlaps printing for extra protection.

With K-Sun LABELShop® label printers and software you can create custom adhesive-backed labels, heat-shrink tubes, wire-wrap tapes, and bar-code labels using thousands of industry standard graphics and preset software wizards for all your marking and identification, safety, hazcom, visual communication and warning needs.

K-Sun Corporation, founded in 1978, is a unique source for custom labeling, marking, signage and industrial identification solutions and has numerous exclusive electronic labeling machines, software and supplies.

Previous post:

Next post: