Direct thermal labels are a cost-effective labeling solution. They are made using the direct thermal printing process, which offers many advantages over other printing methods since it only requires the use of heat and heat-sensitive materials to produce the desired printed image. As a result, the labels are employed for a variety of applications across a wide range of industries.

What Is Direct Thermal Printing?

Direct thermal printing is a specialized printing process that uses a thermal print head to selectively heat areas of thermo-chromatic (i.e., thermal) paper material. The paper is chemically treated to change color when exposed to heat, so when it runs over the thermal print head, the heated areas react and form the desired image. Some direct thermal printers offer the capabilities to produce two-color images (usually red and black). These units expose the thermal paper to heat at two different temperatures.

How Long Do Direct Thermal Labels Last?

Printed labels created using the direct thermal printing method are best suited for short-term applications. They have relatively short lifespans (typically between six to nine months), depending on the type of label material and the application environment. Since the label materials are sensitive to heat, continued exposure to heat and ultraviolet (UV) light will cause the printed image to fade over time.

When Should I Use Direct Thermal vs. Thermal Transfer Labels?

Direct thermal labels are not suitable for long-term labeling applications since they will fade over time. For such applications, thermal transfer labels are the better solution. These labels are created using the thermal transfer printing method, which uses a printer ribbon and heat to create the desired image on the label material. The print head heats the ribbon, causing its thin film of resin or wax to transfer and bond to the label. The result is a high-quality, long-lasting printed label; it is not as susceptible to fading when exposed to heat and UV light as a direct thermal label.

Learn More: Direct Thermal vs. Thermal Transfer Printing

Common Applications of Direct Thermal Labels

Direct thermal labels are a mainstay in many industries, including food service, retail, and shipping, where they are used for short- to medium-term labeling applications. As direct thermal printing technology continues to improve, they will likely be incorporated into an even wider range of industrial applications.

Typical uses for direct thermal labels include:

Product barcodes

Product barcodes

Packaging and shipping labels

Packaging and shipping labels

Receipts

Receipts

Name tags and visitor passes

Name tags and visitor passes

Coupons

Coupons

Event tickets

Event tickets

GHS-compliant labels

GHS-compliant labels

Pharmacy Labels

Pharmacy Labels

Food Labeling Labels

Food Labeling Labels

Restaurant Order Labels

Restaurant Order Labels

Direct Thermal Label Products at Technicode Inc.

Technicode, Inc. is a premier supplier of high-quality barcode labeling supplies. We offer a variety of direct thermal label products to meet the needs of a wide range of applications. Our comprehensive selection includes:

Paper Labels 3" Core
Paper Labels 3" Core

Specialty Labels

Our 3″ core paper labels produce high-contrast, black images on a white matte finish thermal-coated paper backed with all-temperature permanent acrylic adhesive. Ideal for labels, barcodes, name tags, and other general-purpose applications, these labels span the full width of the 3″ core. Each roll is 8″ in diameter. All of our labels are automatically produced with perforations, but we are happy to accommodate special requests. Application temperature is 32° F to 120° F, and service temperatures range from -75° F to 200° F.

Paper Labels 1" Core
Paper Labels 1" Core

Inkjet / Laser Labels

With a 1″ wide core and 4″ outer diameter, these labels are perfect for smaller labeling applications, such as product and shelf labeling. The high-quality thermal-coated paper creates clear black-on-white images for professional-quality labels backed with permanent all-temperature acrylic adhesive. These labels have an application temperature of 32° F to 120° F and service temperature ranging from -75° F to 200° F.

Paper Labels Fanfolded
Paper Labels Fanfolded

Custom Labels

Fanfolded for easy manual application, this paper label design has an 8″ outer diameter and is perfect for name tags, sale tags, and other situations that require quick, hands-on application. Our fanfolded paper labels are made from our high-quality general purpose direct thermal paper label stock, which produces high-contrast, black markings on a matte, white surface. Labels are perforated unless otherwise requested and backed with an all-temperature permanent acrylic adhesive. Application temperature for these labels ranges from 32° F to 120° F. Service temperature ranges from -75° F to 200° F.

Mobile Printer Labels
Mobile Printer Labels

Thermal Barcode Printers

Specially designed for use in mobile printers, these labels are ideal for quick and easy labeling in retail, distribution, warehouse, shipping, and healthcare settings. Compatible with popular Zebra® QL420 series mobile printers, these labels are the perfect solution for convenient on-the-go labeling.

DTL - Direct Thermal Tag - 8" OD
DTL - Direct Thermal Tag - 8" OD

Custom Labels

Our direct thermal tag (DTL) tags feature a 3″ wide core and 8″ outer diameter. They are manufactured using a highly visible, premium coated paper that is ultra-smooth and smudge-resistant. Each roll comes with perforated tags without adhesive. Application temperature is 25° F to 150° F, and service temperature is between -65° F and 200° F.

Direct Thermal Label Products at Technicode Inc.

Technicode, Inc. is a premier supplier of high-quality barcode labeling supplies. We offer a variety of direct thermal label products to meet the needs of a wide range of applications. Our comprehensive selection includes:

  • Paper Labels 3" Core
    Paper Labels 3" Core
    Specialty Labels

    Our 3″ core paper labels produce high-contrast, black images on a white matte finish thermal-coated paper backed with all-temperature permanent acrylic adhesive. Ideal for labels, barcodes, name tags, and other general-purpose applications, these labels span the full width of the 3″ core. Each roll is 8″ in diameter. All of our labels are automatically produced with perforations, but we are happy to accommodate special requests. Application temperature is 32° F to 120° F, and service temperatures range from -75° F to 200° F.

    Specialty Labels
  • Paper Labels 1" Core
    Paper Labels 1" Core
    Inkjet / Laser Labels

    With a 1″ wide core and 4″ outer diameter, these labels are perfect for smaller labeling applications, such as product and shelf labeling. The high-quality thermal-coated paper creates clear black-on-white images for professional-quality labels backed with permanent all-temperature acrylic adhesive. These labels have an application temperature of 32° F to 120° F and service temperature ranging from -75° F to 200° F.

    Inkjet / Laser Labels
  • Paper Labels Fanfolded
    Paper Labels Fanfolded
    Custom Labels

    Fanfolded for easy manual application, this paper label design has an 8″ outer diameter and is perfect for name tags, sale tags, and other situations that require quick, hands-on application. Our fanfolded paper labels are made from our high-quality general purpose direct thermal paper label stock, which produces high-contrast, black markings on a matte, white surface. Labels are perforated unless otherwise requested and backed with an all-temperature permanent acrylic adhesive. Application temperature for these labels ranges from 32° F to 120° F. Service temperature ranges from -75° F to 200° F.

    Custom Labels
  • Mobile Printer Labels
    Mobile Printer Labels
    Thermal Barcode Printers

    Specially designed for use in mobile printers, these labels are ideal for quick and easy labeling in retail, distribution, warehouse, shipping, and healthcare settings. Compatible with popular Zebra® QL420 series mobile printers, these labels are the perfect solution for convenient on-the-go labeling.

    Thermal Barcode Printers
  • DTL - Direct Thermal Tag - 8" OD
    DTL - Direct Thermal Tag - 8" OD
    Custom Labels

    Our direct thermal tag (DTL) tags feature a 3″ wide core and 8″ outer diameter. They are manufactured using a highly visible, premium coated paper that is ultra-smooth and smudge-resistant. Each roll comes with perforated tags without adhesive. Application temperature is 25° F to 150° F, and service temperature is between -65° F and 200° F.

    Custom Labels

Source Direct Thermal Labels From Technicode, Inc.

Whether you are in need of quick-print labels for component tracking or premium stock for front-facing retail tags, the experts at Technicode, Inc. have the perfect solution for your printed label needs. We pride ourselves on providing state-of-the-art labeling solutions for our customers in every industry. To learn more about our direct thermal labels and other quality products, contact us or request a quote today.