header
Home | Store | Thermal Transfer Ribbons | Label Products | UL Labels | Thermal Parking Tickets | Specialty Items | Links | Job Opportunities | Request a Quote | Terms & Conditions

Tag and Label FAQ's

 
Below are some frequently asked questions. Please click on the questions below to view the answers:

What is the difference between wax, wax/resin, and resin ribbons?

What are the basic classifications for thermal transfer ribbons?

What level of Ultraviolet (UV) light resistance do our ribbons offer?


What are the differences between wax, wax/resin, and resin ribbons?


Wax
ribbons typically contain a high percentage of wax-based materials. These materials contribute to the melting point of the ribbon, which affects the amount of energy necessary to print. Since the waxes we use, in general, have lower melting points than the resins used, printing with wax ribbons typically requires less energy than printing with wax/resin or resin ribbons. Since most waxes used tend to be softer than the resins used, image durability for wax ribbons is typically less than that of wax/resin and resin ribbons. Most wax ribbons are made up of only one layer.

Wax/resin ribbons typically contain higher percentages of resinous materials. These materials contribute to a higher melting point of the ribbons. Printing with these ribbons typically requires more energy than printing with wax ribbons. Since most resins used tend to be harder than the waxes used, image durability (and some chemical resistance) for wax/resin ribbons is typically greater than that of wax ribbons. Most wax/resin ribbons are made up of two or more layers.

Resin ribbons typically contain the highest percentages of resinous materials. Printing with these ribbons typically requires more energy than printing with either wax or wax/resin ribbons. Since most resins used tend to be harder than the waxes used, the higher levels of these resins contribute to the excellent durability and chemical resistance for resin ribbons. Most resin ribbons are made up of two or more layers.

TOP OF PAGE


What are the basic classifications for thermal transfer ribbons?

General Purpose
- These are typically wax based ribbons that print well on a variety of coated and some uncoated paper receivers, as well as some synthetics. Image durability for these ribbons is acceptable for applications where little physical contact with the printed image is likely to occur or where image life is short term (e.g., shipping labels). These ribbons are usually the least expensive.

Premium - These are typically wax/resin ribbons that print well on a variety of coated and synthetic receivers. Image durability for these ribbons is excellent for applications where physical contact with the printed image is likely to occur repeatedly. Some resistance to mild chemicals and cleaners is provided. Typical applications include pharmaceutical, "shelf talker," and chemical drum labels. Ribbon pricing is mid-range.

Super Premium - These are typically resin ribbons that print well on a variety of synthetic and specialty receivers. Image durability for these ribbons is excellent for applications where harsh physical contact with the printed image is likely to occur repeatedly. Excellent resistance to a variety of chemicals and cleaners is provided. Typical uses include outdoor and long-life applications like electrical box and integrated circuit board labeling. Ribbon pricing is typically higher based on the materials used and the number of ribbon layers needed.

Specialty - These are typically wax/resin or resin ribbons that are designed to work in particular applications. Image durability for these ribbons is excellent on their intended receiver. These ribbons typically focus on a particular application like fabric printing where washability is required or on tags and labels where steam resistance is critical. Ribbon pricing can vary based the materials used and the number of ribbon layers needed.

TOP OF PAGE


What level of Ultraviolet (UV) light resistance do our ribbons offer?

Since all our ribbons use pigment-based colorants our products offer better UV resistance than dye-based colorants typically used in ink-jet printing.

Carbon Black is the pigment used as the colorant for all of our black ribbons, including wax, wax/resin, and resin products. Carbon Black is a very light-stable pigment. Images produced with these ribbons will not fade readily when exposed to either indoor or outdoor UV light. Images printed with these ribbons will be readable and scannable over a period of years depending upon the location (temperature and humidity) and angle of sun or light exposure.

Our color ribbons use a variety of different pigments as colorants. Some of these pigments are more UV light-stable than others. Black, blue, and green colors, in general, are more light-stable than yellow, red, and orange colors.

Our DC-300 line of color ribbons designed for outdoor sign printing applications offers the best UV light resistance. Pigments selected for this product line are "automotive grade." Depending upon the vinyl receiver selected, printed images can last for 5-7 years.

Our DC-100, DC-200, and DC-400 and NET™ line of color ribbons claim no level of UV light resistance.

TOP OF PAGE


What is Underwriters Laboratories (UL) Recognition as it pertains to
thermal transfer printing?

UL's Component Recognition Service helps component manufacturers provide, and finished product manufacturers choose, product components that pass UL product safety evaluations and certifications, while maintaining the value of the UL Mark.

UL customizes its component evaluations to include tests and properties based on acceptable use and installation by manufacturers in complete products or systems which are submitted for UL listing or classification.

For printing and labeling applications we follow "UL 969 Standard - Marking and Labeling Systems." This standard tests for the following criteria:

  • Visual Examination
  • Legibility Test
  • Defacement Test
  • 90 Degree Peel Angle
  • Exposure:
    -- Indoor Conditions - Dry, High Humidity/Occasional Water
    -- Outdoor - High Humidity/Water
  • Various Chemicals
  • Hazardous Locations

A list of all UL recognized ribbon systems can be found in the technical section of this web site. For UL Mark Labels click here or go to the UL Labels Page.

TOP OF PAGE