Determining Thermal Media Types
Determining Thermal Media Types
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Determining Thermal Media Types

Thermal transfer media requires a ribbon for printing while direct thermal media does not. To determine if ribbon must be used with a particular media, perform a media scratch test.
  1. Scratch the print surface of the media with a fingernail or pen cap. Press firmly and quickly while dragging it across the media surface. Direct thermal media is chemically treated to print (expose) when the heat is applied. This test method uses friction heat to expose the media.
  2. Did a black mark appear on the media?
Media Scratch Test Results
If a black mark...
Then the media is...
Appears on the media
Direct thermal. No ribbon is required.
Does not appear on the media
Thermal transfer. A ribbon is required.
Not supported by this printer.