Thermal Transfer Ribbons and coding ribbons converter
Discover our range of thermal transfer ribbons
What is a thermal transfer ribbon?
A thermal transfer ribbon, or thermal transfer film, is an "ink ribbon" made up of 3 layers:
- a 4 to 4.5 micron polyester film which forms the basis of the thermal transfer ribbon
- A "backcoating", mainly made of silicone and which protects the printhead while diffusing its heating
- A layer of ink, including pigments, wax, resin and various components. It is the formulation of this layer which will give the properties of the thermal transfer ribbons.
How does a thermal transfer ribbon work?
The printhead of a thermal transfer printer is made up of many small dots which heat up and cool down very quickly.
By passing under the printhead, ink is transferred to the printed medium (label or packaging film) under the effect of the heating of the dots.
Printing is therefore controlled by computer, which makes thermal transfer ribbon technology a flexible and efficient solution in an industrial environment.
On the opposite, coding ribbon (or hot foil) is transferred using a heated matrix which strikes the film to transfer ink. This technology, older and more rudimentary, allows a simple and fast identification but is less flexible.