TSI manufactures and stocks many popular sizes of direct thermal labels and thermal transfer labels. Thermal labels are commonly used for shipping/mailing labels, packaging, airline, point-of-sale, healthcare and other label applications that typically require variable data to be printed on the label.
Thermal labels make use of heat in two ways during the label printing process. Direct thermal printing employs a method of creating images by applying heat to heat sensitive label material without the use of printer ribbons. Thermal transfer printing on the other hand uses heat to transfer ink from a printer ribbon onto label material.
Direct Thermal Labels
Direct thermal labels are made of heat sensitive paper or film. The elements in direct thermal labels produce the color change to create the printed image when activated by heat. Because they are more sensitive to heat and light, direct thermal labels are ideal for indoor applications where there is less exposure to harsh environmental conditions.
Images on direct thermal labels could fade over time so they are generally recommended for short-term use where required label life is less than one year. They are widely used in fresh food sections, parcel shipping, warehouse inventory tracking and medical industry applications.
Thermal Transfer Labels
Thermal transfer labels work with heat from thermal transfer printers to shift ink from the printer ribbon onto label material. Thermal transfer labels are more wide ranging and resilient to varying environmental situations. You’ll find thermal transfer labels in paper, film, foil, vinyl and waterproof material.
Images on thermal transfer labels are more durable so they are recommended for long-term use where required label life exceeds one year. They are more resistant to light, high temperatures, chemicals and abrasives and are widely used for high density barcode printing, long distance parcel shipping, food packaging and bottling, as well as indoor and outdoor warehouse applications.