There are basically three types of thermal transfer ribbons we commonly use, namely wax-based, wax-based/resin-based, and resin-based. Each type has a series of subtypes, such as economy type.

Wax ribbon

The wax-based ribbon is the cheapest of all thermal transfer ribbons. Most wax-based ribbons are made with a single colorant layer. The wax-based ribbon has a high proportion of wax-based materials. Since the melting point of wax is lower than that of resin materials, printing can be performed at a lower temperature. Because wax is softer, it has lower durability and is suitable for printing on uncoated surfaces, such as coated paper. Wax-based ribbons are suitable for printed matter that does not suffer much wear or print storage time, such as general labels, transportation labels, address labels, clothing labels, price receipts, warehouse applications, retail labels, etc.

Wax/resin ribbon

Wax-based/resin-based ribbons are also called mixed-based ribbons, which are a combination of wax-based and resin-based ribbons, in which resin substances account for a larger proportion. Wax-based/resin-based ribbons consist of two or more layers. Because the melting point of the resin material is higher, the melting point of the ribbon is increased, and printing can be performed at a higher temperature than the wax-based ribbon. Since the resin is harder than wax, the printed image durability, chemical resistance, and friction resistance are higher than wax-based ribbons. They also guarantee excellent edge sharpness. Using wax-based/resin-based ribbons can achieve a printing speed of 40 cm per second. Wax-based/resin-based ribbons can be used for all applications where wax ribbons are used. Wax-based/resin-based ribbons are slightly more expensive than wax-based ribbons.

Resin ribbon

Resin-based ribbons contain the highest proportion of resin materials. Most resin-based ribbons are composed of more than two layers. Because the resin has a high melting point, resin-based ribbon printing is done at high temperatures. But the resulting printed image has very high chemical resistance, heat resistance, and abrasion resistance, and is suitable for use in harsh environments. Resin-based ribbons are suitable for textile and apparel labels (such as taffeta/satin), high-gloss coating materials (such as polyester, polyolefin, destructible vinyl), warranty labels, labels exposed to harsh environments (such as Chemical roller labels, medical labels, etc.), as well as industrial and automotive applications. The resin-based ribbon is the most expensive thermal transfer ribbon.

Briefly summarize the characteristics of the three talk belts:

Wax base: Wax base is mainly used indoors, suitable for ordinary art paper, and the price is low.

Resin base: the highest price, suitable for harsh environments and extreme conditions, with the longest service life.

Wax-based/resin-based: medium price, durability, and life span between wax-based and resin-based ribbons.

Technical Support

Weifang Xinxing Label has many years of experience in the production of self-adhesive labels and can provide users with one-stop label application technical services. These services include self-adhesive label design, printing, ribbon consumables, bar code printers, data collectors, and application software, etc., which can provide customers with complete label solutions.