What does Thermal Inkjet mean?
The "thermal inkjet" process is a type of inkjet printing that transfers a printed image to the carrier medium contactlessly and precisely via small ink drops. In thermal inkjet printers, the ink droplets are shot out of the print nozzle by heating them up to 300° C. The ink is then used for printing. An alternative is the "piezo inkjet" process, in which the droplets are conveyed by mechanical displacement.
Thermal inkjet has been considered the standard in the industrial sector since its development in the 1980s. The technology has become established as it enables inexpensive, flexible and fast product marking. The TJ500 and TJ1000 models available from us offer reliability, quality and accuracy. Both printers are quick to install and easy to use.
How the thermal inkjet process works
The ink cartridges of thermal inkjet printers have heating elements that generate high temperatures of up to 300° C and thus heat the ink beyond its boiling point. With the temperature-induced change of the aggregate state from liquid to gaseous, the volume of the printing ink expands - a vapor bubble is formed. This results in a high pressure, which conveys the droplets required for the printing process out of the nozzle. They are delivered to the substrate with pinpoint accuracy. The ink then cools rapidly and returns to its liquid state. The vacuum that is now created causes new ink to be conveyed into the nozzle.
Advantages and disadvantages
Thermal Inkjet vs Continuous Inkjet
Inkjet printer comparison
In an industrial context, continuous inkjet printers and drop-on-demand printers are as established as they are proven. Both solutions belong to the inkjet printers. However, the printing technologies are based on different technical principles. Both technologies work contact-free and ink drops are transported through the air over a distance from the product. Texts, barcodes and logos are thus applied to the product by means of targeted electronic control.
A technology in which a continuous stream of ink is conveyed through the print nozzle. The ink jet is separated into droplets at the charging electrode. At the deflection electrode, the droplets are deflected as needed to create the printed image on the product. Unused ink drops are returned.
Drop on Demand (DOD)
Characterized by the fact that the ink is located in a chamber behind the print nozzle. Ink delivery is controlled by positive and negative pressure in the chamber. Basically, only that ink is discharged from the nozzles and transferred to the product which is required for the respective print. DOD printing technology is divided into two approaches: Piezo Inkjet (PIJ) and Thermal Inkjet (TIJ).
Drop on Demand (DOD)
|Piezo Inkjet (PIJ)||Short-term generation of high pressure on the print nozzle by means of deformation of the piezo element based on an applied voltage. Ink drops are ejected from the print head by mechanical displacement.||- very long service life of the print heads |
- for larger quantities.
|Thermal Inkjet (TIJ)||Electrically heated chambers are integrated in the ink cartridges. A steam bubble is created in the chambers, which causes the ink droplets to be ejected onto the material.||- easy to handle |
- for smaller quantities
Short-term generation of high pressure on the pressure nozzle by means of deformation of the piezo element based on an applied voltage. Ink drops are ejected from the printhead by mechanical displacement.
- very long life of the push buttons
- for larger quantities
Thermal Inkjet (TIJ)
Electrically heated chambers are integrated in the ink cartridges. A vapor bubble is created in the chambers, which causes the ink droplets to be ejected onto the material.
- easy to handle
- for smaller quantities
What our customers say
We were looking for a cost-effective and flexible marking solution for our production. We have made a very good choice with the TJ500.
Björn Ickes, Head of the Application Engineering / R&D Department at RCP Ranstadt
Frequently Asked Questions about Thermal Inkjet
Do you have further questions? Here you can find more details.
First of all, the term thermal means that a thermal process takes place. Thermal inkjet is thus a process based on the targeted application of heat. The heat in the printer's nozzle causes the ink to be precisely delivered to the surface to be printed. Targeted control produces the desired print image on the product.