Simply put, thermal transfer printing is the process of using heat and pressure to transfer ink from a ribbon medium to paper or film. When the label passes through the print head and pressure shaft of the printer, the ink is transferred to the label.
Thermal transfer ribbon is a polyester or other high-density film coated with wax-based, resin-based or mixed ink on one side. Apply lubricant on the ink-free side to prevent the print head from wearing and damaging. The handle and the front lead tape are in front of the ribbon, and the rear lead tape is at the end of a roll (some do not have a rear lead tape).
The leading tape is generally transparent or other colors, it has the following functions:
·Easy to use: easy to install the ribbon on the printer
·Product identification: product name, company name, trademark, etc. can be printed for market promotion and promotion
·Protection: used to protect the ribbon
The composition of the original tape (Imaging Components)
The original tape is generally composed of five layers, top coating, ink layer, inner coating, tape base and back coating.
The top coat is mainly used to improve the adhesion of the ink on the label and enhance the environmental resistance.
The ink layer is the main one, used to print and determine the characteristics of the ribbon, such as chemical resistance and anti-friction.
The inner coating is mainly used to smooth the printed surface and ensure the consistency of the ink release from the tape base.
The tape base is the carrier of the other layers and determines the performance of heat transfer.
The back coating is simply a special coating applied to the back of the ribbon. Its main function is to reduce the wear of the print head, reduce static electricity generation and enhance heat conduction.
Generally speaking, it serves as a warning function, allowing the printer to sense the end of the ribbon. The difference of the printer determines the difference of the trailing tape. There are three main types:
1. Aluminum plating (silver): mainly for reflective sensors, the reflected light indicates the end of the ribbon.
2. Transparent: used for transmissive sensors, allowing light to pass through to indicate the ribbon is used up.
3. Used for mechanical sensing: the change of the printer's sensing tension indicates the ribbon is used up.
There are two common types of ribbon cores: paper and plastic. The main requirements are that they cannot be deformed and cannot slide during printing.