Ribbon Wax and Ribbon wax-resin: understand the two

A pack and wax, wax-resin and resin ribbon

Ribbon Wax and Ribbon wax-resin: understand the two

Also known as thermal transfer ribbon ― TTR ( Thermal Transfer Ribbon), the ribbon is the component for thermal printing. As it is a plastic film, coated with ink, it performs the same function as a toner in conventional equipment. Thus, when it is heated, at certain points, it transfers the information to the label . It can be classified into 3 types: resin ribbon, wax ribbon, and mixed ribbon.

To better explain the difference between them, we have prepared this article. Continue reading and find out more.

Wax Ribbons

Wax ribbon is used for the production of various types of products, such as data printing, paper bar code, and adhesive labels. Its main features are printing at high speeds and low temperatures, in addition to having a lower cost compared to other types.

The points of attention of this component are the low resistance to friction, temperature, washing, and chemicals. However, despite meeting quality and printing needs, its sensitivity to the listed attributes needs to be tested and approved.

Resin Ribbons

Unlike the model mentioned above, the resin ribbon is used when high strength is required in materials that suffer from friction. This is the case for labels exposed to extreme conditions, such as freezing. Also, they are common in chemical labeling, hazardous products, and printed circuit boards, among others.

Despite having a higher cost, it ensures that the information printed on the label is not lost in the process. Thus, it needs more energy to perform the printing.

Wax-Resin Ribbons

Another type of this printing component is mixed ribbon. It is characterized by a plastic film that is made with wax and resin. Thus, it has more resistance to heat and humidity, compared to wax. However, not as much as the resin one.

This type is used in labels that need medium durability. These are the cases of those that suffer friction, such as those used in cargo transport. Even though they are easy to work with, they are not suitable for extreme weather conditions or very abrasive chemicals.

What is the ideal application?

In addition to cost and durability, the most important issue when choosing between ribbons is knowing which one is ideal for each application. After all, it is useless to buy the cheapest or the most resistant one if it is not the correct solution for your printing.

Below, you can check the correct indication for each ribbon.

Resin Ribbons: printing of BOPP, plastic or synthetic materials such as polypropylene, polyester, polyethylene, etc. Widely used for identification of chemical and pharmaceutical products. High mechanical and abrasive resistance.

Wax Ribbons: Offset or coated type paper. Generally used in identification, shelf, promotions, and barcode paper labels. Low mechanical strength.

Wax-resin Ribbons: used on paper or film such as polyethylene, Polystyrene, and Matte. It can be used on barcode labels, for example. Medium mechanical strength.

As you can see, the use of resin ribbon, wax ribbon, and mixed ribbon is chosen according to your application. Of course, regardless of what your need is, it is important to use a quality thermal transfer tape , such as those sold here at ARMOR-IIMAK. This will ensure efficient, waste-free printing.

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