Direct thermal (DT) printing utilizes heat sensitive paper that has ink embedded within the label material. When this paper comes into contact with the hot temperature of the print head, it changes color before rapidly cooling and leaving behind the desired text or image.
Direct thermal printing is best for paper materials, as non-paper and synthetic substrates will not produce clean definitions with texts or images. Color is not available with this method as it only prints in black ink.
Direct thermal printing is easier to load since it does not require the use of ink, toner, or ribbon. This means less supplies and lower maintenance costs overall. They can be used in industrial, desktop, and mobile printers.
Because it uses heat sensitive materials, these labels do not have a long shelf-life, usually lasting around six-months or less. They have a tendency to scratch easily and overexposure to direct sunlight or high temperatures will cause the print to fade faster.
For these reasons direct thermal is ideal for indoor, temporary usage, such as shipping and barcode labels, receipts, and name tags.
Need to find direct thermal labels? Visit smithcorona.com or call at 1-800-875-7000 to order your labels.