Please find below definitions of some of the most frequently-used terminology in labelling. As always, should you have any queries, please do not hesitate to contact us for free, friendly advice, using the contact information at the bottom of this page.

 

There are 2 main types of thermal label material:

  • Thermal Direct is a term used for a label that does not require a ribbon for data to be printed. The label material contains a heat sensitive chemical, which is activated as it passes through the thermal printer, turning the relevant parts of the label black to create the printed data. Thermal direct labels are particularly suitable for situations where a label with a short life span is needed (although there are exceptions).
  • Thermal Transfer is a term used for a label that requires a ribbon for data be printed. As the label passes through the thermal printer, heat activation transfers ink from the ribbon to the label to create the printed data. Thermal transfer labels generally offer a longer life span, are suitable for multicolour print, and can generally withstand harsher environments.

Please contact us on 01376 345955, email info@compliancelabelling.co.uk, for free, friendly advice on any aspect of labelling.

 

There are 2 main types of thermal direct material (ie suitable for printers that do not use ribbons):

  • Thermal Direct Economy is the most frequently used material and is ideal for everyday labelling situations. However, as it has a matt, uncoated finish, it is less suitable for situations where labels may encounter rough handling, as the labels may become scuffed or the face material (which is heat sensitive) may become activated, possibly compromising the integrity of any print (for example barcodes) already present, making the data unreadable.
  • Thermal Direct “Top Coat has a special coating which allows it to be used in more demanding environments and gives it a longer usage life span. The “Top Coat” (imagine it like a sort of varnish) provides protection against scuffing and also acts as a barrier to moisture. This makes it suitable for applications such as freezer conditions, and outer box labelling where sensitive information such as barcodes may be roughly handled.

Please contact us on 01376 345955, email info@compliancelabelling.co.uk, for free, friendly advice on any aspect of labelling.

 

A range of thermal transfer material (ie suitable for printers that do use ribbons) is available:

  • Matt Vellum has a matt (non-glossy) appearance.  Along with semi gloss (see below), it is possibly the most popular type of thermal transfer paper used. Matt vellum thermal transfer labels are typically used where labels with a longer lifespan are required, and where labels may encounter harsher handling, for example for storage labelling, inventory control and product identification labelling. Matt vellum thermal transfer labels require the use of a thermal ribbon to print data. Wax ribbons are recommended depending on the application, for prices please enquire to info@compliancelabelling.co.uk.
  • Semi Gloss is a coated material, with a slight sheen. The coating facilitates a clearer print image than Matt Vellum, so for barcodes and small type this is the recommended option. The coating also acts as a barrier to moisture, so is suitable for some freezer applications.  Semi gloss thermal transfer labels require the use of a thermal ribbon to print data. Wax or wax/resin ribbons are recommended depending on the application, for prices please enquire to info@compliancelabelling.co.uk.
  • Semi Gloss Piggyback is a semi gloss material but with an extra layer of adhesive material between the face material and the backing paper (see our Piggyback labels page here). This allows for the whole label or part of a label to be applied to a product, removed, and then be re-applied to a different product later on. Piggyback labels are typically used in inventory or tracking applications, where duplicate barcodes are needed for pairing up products and invoices, or for tracking labels where a copy of the barcode is required for traceability. Semi gloss piggyback thermal transfer labels require the use of a thermal ribbon to print data. Wax or wax/resin ribbons are recommended depending on application, for prices please enquire to info@compliancelabelling.co.uk.
  • Polypropylene Matt White & Polypropylene Gloss White are both synthetic materials, also known as “polyprop” or sometimes just “PP”.  These are the hardest wearing and most durable type of label. They are often used in the most harsh environments, such as Deep Freeze and High Temperature applications, household and industrial chemical labelling, and automotive labelling. Polyprop labels require the use of a thermal ribbon to print data. Wax/resin or Full Resin ribbons are recommended depending on application, for prices please enquire to info@compliancelabelling.co.uk).

Please contact us on 01376 345955, email info@compliancelabelling.co.uk, for free, friendly advice on any aspect of labelling.

 

There are many types of adhesive available for Thermal Direct and Thermal Transfer labels:

  • Permanent Adhesive is used for applications where labels are needed to remain in place in standard (eg room-temperature) conditions. Permanent adhesive is difficult to remove and will leave residue behind on the surface to which it has been applied. It will adhere to most surfaces but please check with us to ensure it is suitable for your application.
  • Removable Adhesive is used for applications where temporary labelling is required. Removable adhesive will remain in place as per permanent adhesive (depending on situation) but will be easier to remove from the surface to which it is applied and will typically not leave a residue when removed. It will adhere to most surfaces but please check with us to ensure it is suitable for your application.
  • Freezer/Fridge/Chill Adhesive is used for applications where labels will be used in very cold and potentially damp conditions. Labels with cold-temperature adhesive are typically applied to a dry product/packaging prior to chilling/freezing. The adhesive will adhere to most surfaces but please check with us to ensure it is suitable for your application. We offer a range of cold-temperature adhesives, which vary in price, and which are suitable for different situations: we ensure that you therefore never pay for more than you need. Adhesives available can tolerate temperatures to as low as -80°c . Performance, however, may vary depending on situation, so please contact us for free advice regarding your own requirements.
  • High Temperature Adhesive is used for applications where labels will be used in warm or very hot conditions. For example, we manufacture labels which are used on pre-prepared food trays used by airlines which are then re-heated in airline microwaves. Labels with high temperature adhesive are typically applied to a dry product/packaging prior to heating. The adhesive will adhere to most surfaces but please check with us to ensure it is suitable for your application. We offer a range of high-temperature adhesives, which vary in price, and which are suitable for different situations: we ensure that you therefore never pay for more than you need. Adhesives available can tolerate temperatures up to 150°c. Performance, however, may vary depending on situation, so please contact us for free advice regarding your own requirements
  • Blockout Permanent Adhesive is used for applications where information needs to be covered up entirely, for example for concealing incorrect text or barcodes so that they are not viewable . The black adhesive stops any information showing through so, for example, once a blockout label is placed on top of an incorrect barcode, the barcode cannot be scanned. Blockout permanent adhesive labels are also difficult to remove.

Please contact us on 01376 345955, email info@compliancelabelling.co.uk, for free, friendly advice on any aspect of labelling.

 

 

For free, friendly advice, a no obligation quote, or sample labels, please telephone us on: 01376 345955

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