Thermal ribbons come in three main types – wax, wax-resin or pure resin and are almost always black (other colours sometimes used are red and blue). These different types are made to print onto different label materials and are used when the life of the label needs to be long or the labels needs to survive harsh environments.
The three different types of ribbons we supply are as follows :
Wax ribbons are for printing onto paper labels, where the life of the label can be years but must be kept dry and must not be abraded or subjected to certain chemicals or oil, which would dissolve the wax image.
Wax-resin ribbons produce a finer image on very smooth paper or coated paper labels. The printed image is much more durable than wax, but can still only stand slight contact with water.
Resin ribbons are formulated to print onto plastic labels such as polyester, polypropylene and vinyl. The “ink” is designed to slightly dissolve into or adhere to the plastic surface of the label and becomes extremely durable, depending on the plastic material and ribbon make used
Most printer manufacturers offer ribbon/label combinations which are known to work well together, which is particularly important as some combinations produce no image at all. Plastic labels with resin ribbons will survive outside in full sunlight, can stand immersion in water and may be resistant to chemicals and oils dependent on type.