Thermal Transfer Ribbon Resistance to COVID Cleaning Chemicals

15 December 2020

With an intense focus on infection control and increased cleaning and disinfecting frequency, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic, product labels can experience premature wear and degradation, making them illegible and problematic.

Due to the increase in cleaning and disinfecting during the COVID-19 pandemic, it is important that your printed labels withstand new cleaning routines and remain legible through all channels of handling. Many people have been experiencing smudging, deterioration of information, and more when trying to maintain and disinfect their products & packaging.

Resin Thermal Transfer Ribbon

In this test we exemplify the chemical resistance of our premium resin thermal transfer ribbon, SP330 printed on FLEXcon THERMLfilm Select. This specific thermal transfer ribbon is a full resin product which effectively prints on a wide variety of label stock. Labels printed with this resin thermal transfer ribbon have extreme scratch and smudge durability, along with resistance to many chemicals and cleaning products. The SP330 ribbon is not only just a good fit for medical applications, but also automotive, industrial, pharmaceutical, and food applications to name a few.



If an image is generated with a lower grade ribbon, cleaning and disinfecting can destroy important information. Such as:

  • Barcodes
  • Lot codes
  • Product information
  • Variable information
  • Date codes
  • Equipment Identification
The IIMAK Technical Support Team was able to show how our full resin SP330 ribbon can withstand aggressive cleaners and what you can expect as far as quality and consistency.

Our Thermal Transfer Ribbon Put to the Test

Chemical testing

We were able to demonstrate three chemical products, where 10 and 50 swab rubs were performed to replicate both a quick wipe down and a thorough cleaning. Along with the swab rubs, we performed a 24 hour chemical soak to aggressively demonstrate the durability that our SP330 resin thermal transfer ribbon and label combo has with these chemicals, proving it’s resistance.

The three chemicals we put to the test are commonly used to spread the stop of COVID-19:

  • Isopropyl Alcohol
  • Bleach
  • Hand Sanitizer

Our testing showed that high-quality images generated with the SP330 ribbon held up to the chemicals tested. We experienced no image degradation after all tests were performed.

At IIMAK we want to ensure all users are utilizing their thermal transfer ribbons correctly, efficiently, and getting the most out of our product that they possibly can. This particular resin ribbon has proven it can withstand aggressive cleaners to meet new infection control cleaning standards.

If you’re currently experiencing any premature wearing, smudging, or deterioration on your printed labels our SP330 full resin thermal transfer ribbon might be worth testing.

Too busy to test yourself? Let the IIMAK Test Lab do the testing for you!

SEND YOUR STOCK IN FOR INTERNAL TESTING