Familiarizing Yourself with Different Types of Printer Ribbon

There are different types of printing technology available today. Printers come in different shapes and sizes; some come in pocket size while others are huge to accommodate large volume printing. Even the technology used comes in different varieties like inkjet printers, laser printers, thermal printers, digital press, 3D printing, dot matrix, and many more.

What is crucial in printing is the type of dye used. Not all printers use ink exactly because some use toners and carbon ribbons. Others do not even use ribbons or ink at all like the technology used on thermal printers.

Direct thermal printers use a special type of paper, thermochromic paper. The paper reacts to heat and creates the image without the use of ink or ribbon. However, there are printers that use ribbons to imprint on paper or other types of material.

Different types of printer ribbon

Printer ribbons are used in different types of printer technology like those used on typewriters and thermal transfer printers. Here are the different types of ribbon that you can choose from:

  • Typewriter ribbon – this type of ribbon is used on impact printers like typewriters, stenotypes, and teleprinters. The material is usually a roll of woven ribbon saturated with dye or a polymer tape coated with dye. The ribbon is usually placed between the paper and the keys. Once the keys hit the ribbon, it transfers the dye on the paper.
  • Thermal transfer ribbons – this type of ribbon is used for thermal transfer printers and this type of printer is usually used for printing labels on paper and other more durable materials like plastic. There are different types of ribbon you can choose from for your thermal transfer printer:
    • Wax – ideal for producing paper labels but must be kept dry and away from chemicals and oil.
    • Wax/resin – produces fine images and can stand a little bit of water.
    • Resin – prints on plastic and polymer materials. Images do not easily dissolve when exposed to water, oil and chemicals.

What is important to know when purchasing transfer ribbons is to also purchase a label stock that matches the ribbon well to ensure high quality images and for the final printed labels to last a long time.

It is important to familiarize yourself with the different printer ribbons that are available in the market to ensure that you get the right one for your printing needs. Considering the right ribbon will also ensure that you can choose the right one for your business whether you are in the paper label printing business or you specialize in printing labels on more durable materials.

 

Source:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Typewriter_ribbon

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thermal_transfer_printing#Thermal_ribbons

http://www.prlog.org/11236967-are-ribbon-printers-better-or-ink-cartridges.html

This Article is written by John C Arkin.



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