Thermal Transfer Ribbon Qualification Overview

Not All Ribbons Are Created Equal!!! As you're aware, electronic manufacturers' production processes vary widely when it comes to process conditions, types of solder and soldering processes used, as well as fluxes, washes and cleaners. Thermal transfer printed labels react differently to these conditions with greater or lesser degrees of success, which can also be influenced by the brand of thermal transfer printer chosen. Ribbons we have tested for use on the following POLYONICS products:

Nylon XF-300, XF-301, XF-302

For the most recent and complete listing of ribbon compatibilities see Thermal Transfer Ribbons and Polyimide Labels.

Polyester XF-400, XF-442, XF-444, XF 446, XF-447, XF-448, XF-45, XF-455 & XF-456
PEN XF 540
Polymide Colors

XF-500, XF-503, XF-504, XF-505, XF-506, XF-508, XF-509, XF-520, XF-522, XF-523, XF-524, XF-525, XF-526, XF 541, XF 552

Polyimide White XF-518, XF-519, XF-528, XF-529, XF 555, XF 557, XF 561, XF 562, XF-565, XF581, XF 582, XF 583, XF 584, XF-587, XF-592, XF-593, XF-781, XF-782
Aluminum Foil Labels XF-801, XF-803, XT-660

When properly matched with the complementary ribbon, these materials give superior performance across a wide range of different fluxes, saponifiers, cleaners, and solvents. Not all the ribbons printed on the appropriate polyimide label or other bar code label material survived all the 30-50 solvents tested; however, not all the solvents are used by any individual customer. The ribbons listed below are not all inclusive. Ribbon manufacturers are introducing new ribbons frequently. Moreover, the manufacturing processes employed change frequently, so laboratory test results are always lagging behind developments in the field. In ALL cases, we urge that the polyimide label printed with each thermal transfer ribbon, as appropriate, be tested thoroughly.

Part Number
Armor AXR 7+, AXR 8
Dai Nippon (DNP) R510, TR4070, TR3370
IIMAK R-2 Prime, SP-330
Japan Pulp and Paper JPP1
Union Chemicar US 300
ITW B324
Ricoh Ribbon B110A, CR, C, CH

Note: The above ratings are based on Polyonics Laboratory tests using a Zebra90xi thermal transfer printer. Please call us today for specific matching information.


Certain new "environmentally friendly" cleaners and rework solvents provide especially hard environments which may destroy the printed image of labels that have not been heated in the soldering process. XF 541 has been developed for use in these applications.

Depending on the specific "pesky solvent", solder paste remover, or other unique rework solvent, the following ribbons may be tried:

Polymide Ribbon
XF 541 Solder paste cleaner Ricoh B110A, 110C
"PESKY" solvents Ricoh B110A, 110C, Coding Products 7985, 7986, 7988 SONY 4070, 4075 JPP1, JFR08055, JFRD08CH3, JFRD080, IIMAK SP330, 10220, 102RX, Zebra Z 4065

For more ribbons, sorted by type (i.e. wax, wax/resin, resin) see RIBBON TYPES for POLYIMIDE LABELS.

Polyonics, Inc., does not sell or endorse ribbons from specific ribbon companies. Our recommendations are based solely on Polyonics testing methods and procedures and are subject to revision without further notice.

For more information, you can contact the Thermal Transfer companies at
Thermal Ribbon Manufacturers Directory , or visit the links to their websites at Thermal Transfer Ribbons for Polyimide Labels.