High quality thermal transfer ribbon

Thermal transfer ribbon for label printer

► consistent, precise and favorable pressure
► Wide range of applications

What is thermal transfer ribbon?

Thermal transfer ribbon is an essential component of thermal transfer printing. The film consists of a polyester film (short: PET), which is coated on both sides with different material:

On one side there is wax, resin, as well as a layer of paint. The other is silicone to protect the print head of the thermal transfer printer.

Function and application

In thermal transfer printing, the respective
thermal transfer ribbon
is heated selectively by individual heating elements in the print head. This ensures precise transfer from the ink layer of the carbon ribbon to the medium to be printed.

The modern technology is suitable for a wide range of applications: examples include the marking of packaging labels or technical marking in commercial applications. Whenever variable, product-specific information needs to be reliably applied during labeling, the process offers a qualitative solution. Find out here about the right thermal transfer ribbon for label printers.


Advantages and disadvantages of thermal transfer ribbon

If ribbons are not of sufficient quality, problems such as faulty printing or damaged printheads will result. Even their elimination results in additional expense - and consequently in profit losses. Reputable products, on the other hand, ensure reliable printing processes of high durability. The carbon ribbon in question, a thin strip of plastic film, is coated with both paint and a binder of invariant formulation. Diagraph's thermal transfer ribbons thus guarantee customers a high-quality print result of lasting quality.

Diagraph's thermal transfer ribbon for printers has numerous
features. The benefits are in the area of quality, costs, efficiency and the necessary personnel expenditure:

  • Thermal transfer printers generally require comparatively little space.
  • The technology is ready for immediate use, as there is no warm-up time.
  • The printing process is very quiet.
  • Thermal transfer printers print resolutions up to 600 dpi (dots per inch), they thus generate an ideal print image with very good contrast and convincing edge sharpness.
  • The print results offer high smudge and abrasion resistance as well as robust durability.
  • As a technique, thermal transfer printing is suitable for high printing speeds.
  • The process is inexpensive and requires comparatively little maintenance.

With regard to the
of the products, however, it should be noted that usually only one-color printing is possible. As a result, grayscales can only be displayed in halftone. It is not uncommon for the sensitive issue of data protection to play a role in the use of thermal transfer ribbon. In safety-critical applications, it is essential to make the information still recognizable on the ribbon used illegible. Under no circumstances may commercially or security-significant print data still be identifiable. Unlike an ink system, this means that after printing, materials are produced that have to be disposed of and rendered unrecognizable.

Distinction between thermal transfer printing and direct thermal printing

It is important to differentiate the thermal transfer printing process from direct thermal printing: In the second-mentioned technique, printing is performed exclusively directly on thermally sensitive special paper. Thermal transfer ribbon is not necessary here.

However, printing is only possible on thermo-sensitive paper. This has a significantly shorter service life. As a result, this technique is used primarily for mail items such as letters and newspapers. Other applications include parking tickets, cash register receipts and admission tickets. The advantages of low-cost printing, high process speed and simple operation are offset by the disadvantage of the short service life of the special paper, which is not particularly UV-resistant.

Process Thermal transfer printing Direct thermal printing
MaterialPaper, cardboard, plasticThermosensitive paper
Print permanenceMedium to long-termAlways short-term
Thermotransferfolien in schwarz, weiß, gold, blau, gelb, rot und weiteren Farben

Foil color

In addition to the black printing thermal transfer ribbon, thermal transfer ribbons are alternatively available in other colors. The coating of the ribbon determines the always monochrome output. Whether thermal transfer ribbon black or thermal transfer ribbon gold, Diagraph's high-quality offering meets the needs of the market. It offers each customer a custom-fit solution for their commercial needs.

Areas of application of thermal transfer printing

The products are suitable for a wide range of applications, depending on the type of film selected - for example, as a textile thermal transfer film.

The following materials can be permanently provided with information by means of thermal transfer printing:





Paper coated and uncoated


Due to the described properties, accurate and inexpensive thermal transfer by means of foil is used in industries such as food, healthcare, pharmaceuticals or retail.

Frequently asked questions about thermal transfer ribbons

Do you have further questions? Here you can find more details.

Temperature-sensitive transfer ribbons are required for thermal transfer printing. The method of operation is based on an efficient principle: during printing, the film is passed between the print head and the print medium, where it is selectively controlled by means of heat.
Depending on its size and resolution, the respective printhead has numerous separately controllable heating elements. If such an element is specifically heated, the ink layer on the thermal transfer ribbon melts. Heat energy is used to precisely transfer the color of the film to the respective medium.

Technical data

Thermal Transfer
Typ 200 Typ 202 Typ 405 Typ 408 Typ 409
Suitable for
Printing speedmediumfastmediummediummedium
MaterialWax / ResinWax / ResinResinWax / ResinWax / Resin
Suitable for
Paper coatedYesYesYesNoYes
Paper not coatedYesYesYesNoYes
Industry sectors
Shipping logisticsYesNoYesNoYes
Retail tradeYesYesYesYesYes
Packaging filmsYesYesYesYesYes
Contact with foodYesYesYesYesYes
Technical data
Wax / ResinWax / ResinWax / ResinWax / ResinResinWax / Resin
ColoursblackBlack, whiteblack, red, green, blue, white, orange, brown, purple, yellowblack, red, green, blue, whiteBlack, grey

Your thermal transfer ribbon is not included? We will be happy to help you find the right film!
Please contact us at 0931 250760 or via our contact form.


All information at a glance.

What our customers say

fritz holding logo

I was very pleased with the quick response to my inquiry to Customer Service. That's what I call a super service!

Oliver Rück, Industrial Engineering Specialist, Richard Fritz Holding GmbH, Aurach


ITW Diagraph GmbH

Friedrich-Bergius-Ring 30

97076 Würzburg


Tel. +49 931 25076 0

Fax +49 931 25076 50

[email protected]


Tel. +49 931 25076 911

[email protected]


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