Direct thermal labels are a cost-effective type of label made with the direct thermal printing process. In this process, a thermal print head is used to selectively heat specific areas of coated, thermo-chromatic (or thermal) paper. The paper runs over the thermal print head then turns black where it’s heated, producing a desired image. Two-color direct thermal printing can create both red and black images by applying heat at two temperatures. Direct thermal labels use no ink, toner or ribbon, only chemically treated, heat-sensitive materials.
Direct thermal labels have long been used for meat, poultry and dairy products. Today, improvements in thermal papers and direct thermal printers have made the technology a better fit for more products in nearly any market. Some common applications include: