What’s ribbon to barcode printers ?
Basically there are three types of thermal transfer ribbons viz wax, wax /resin and resin. Each type has a range of subtypes like Economy , Premium Ribbons… Thermal Transfer Printing is done with two type of print heads Flat-Type print heads and Near Edge (True Edge , Corner Edge) print heads. Ribbons used for these two thermal transfer printing technologies are different though the types may be the same.
- Wax Ribbon: Inexpensive, mostly used for indoor applications like chemist shops, supermarkets…….
- Wax/Resin Ribbon : Long Life And Good Resistance.
- Resin Ribbon: For Harsh Environments Extreme Conditions And Long Life.
The least expensive of all thermal transfer ribbons. Wax ribbons have a high percentage of wax based substance in the colorant. Most wax ribbons are made with a single colorant layer. Since waxes have lower melting points than resin substances, printing can be done at lower heat settings or energy levels. As waxes are softer image durability is less against smudge, scratch, chemical and environmental resistance. So wax ribbons are suitable for printing on uncaoted or matte coated surfaces. Wax ribbons are suitable for printing purposes where there is not much abrasion or physical contact against the printed matter or the printing is not needed for a long time. Wax ribbons can be used for general purpose labeling,shipping labels, address labels, garment tags, price tickets, warehouse applications, compliance label printing, including shelf and bin labels, retail tag and label applications.
Wax / Resin ribbons are a combination of wax and resin based colorant substances in which resin substances hold a greater percentage. Wax / Resin ribbons are made of two or more layers. Resin substances have a highier melting point thus increasing the melting point of the ribbon. Printing with Wax / Resin ribbons takes place at a highier heat or energy setting then wax ribbons. As resins are harder then waxes image durability ,chemical resistance and abrasion smudge scratch resistance is more than that of wax based ribbons. They also assure excellent edge definition. Wax / Resin ribbons can be used with glossy or smooth surfaces, synthetic materials. Printing speeds of 16 inches per second can be achieved with Wax / Resin ribbons. Wax / Resin ribbons can be used for all purposes where wax ribbons are used but where there is a chance of abrasion or scratch due to contact. Wax / Resin ribbons are slightly expensive then wax ribbons.
Resin Ribbons contain the highest percentage of resin materials. Most Resin ribbons are made up of two are more layers. Printing with resin ribbons is done at high energy levels or heat settings as resins have a high melting point. Low print speeds can be achieved due to the high energy levels required for printing. But the resultant printing images bear a very high resistance to chemicals, heat, abrasion resistance and other environmental conditions. Resin Ribbons are best suited for use with textile apparel or garment labels like (taffeta / satin), high gloss coated materials like polyesters, polyolefins, destructible vinyl, warranty void labels, labels which are to be exposed to harsh environments like chemical drum labels, medical and pharmaceutical labeling, as well as industrial and automotive applications. Resin ribbons are the most expensive of thermal transfer ribbons.