Polyimide and Kapton thermal transfer labels are a great solution for withstanding the harsh temperatures of PCB manufacturing.

Which labels can withstand harsh temperatures?

If you are in need of a label that will retain its stability and remain functional when faced with certain destructive environmental forces, such as high temperatures, choosing a thermal transfer label might be the best choice to make. Thermal transfer labels can be printed with variable data such as serial numbers, lot numbers and bar codes. They are created using a thermal transfer printer, which transfers images onto the label surface from a resin ribbon using heat. 

If environmental temperatures will not exceed 300 degrees F, then a polyester thermal transfer label can be considered. Polyester has higher temperature resistance than other label materials such as paper, polypropylene and vinyl.  Furthermore, polyester offers better chemical resistance than these other materials.

If temperatures will exceed 300 F, then the thermal transfer label material to consider is polyimide (also known as Kapton). Polyimide label materials with high performance topcoats are designed to be thermal transfer printed and withstand the elevated temperatures found in the printed circuit board manufacturing process. Polyimide labels will survive short periods of up to 500 F, and some materials will endure intervals of up to 1000 F.  Plus, polyimide labels retain their integrity when exposed to the corrosive chemicals of the PCB process.

"Because of its thermal stability, properly engineered polyimide films do not shrink or decompose at the temperatures encountered in the circuit board industry," Polyonics writes. "This is particularly important for bar code symbols. Shrinkage in the label will result in distortion of the bar code symbol, which makes it unscannable."

At Stranco, we are experts in creating high-performance polyester and polyimide thermal transfer labels that will stand up to high temperatures. We offer a selection of high performance polyester labels, including white and silver with gloss and matte topcoats.  To meet the needs of PCB manufacturing, our wide range of polyimide films includes white, tan, yellow and green, with gloss and matte finishes, and several adhesive options.  Rest assured, our excellent customer service team will guide you through the specification process to be sure you get the right label for your specific application.

No matter what your specific labeling needs are, our extensive inventory of label materials, label tooling and experienced staff can easily accommodate any labeling project. We also offer no minimum roll quantity, so feel confident to order as few or as many label rolls as your business needs. To learn more about our available thermal label material options, follow this link

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