Can Clear Tape Protect DT Print From Outdoor Elements?

IMG_20160523_164930It’s a question that’s only been asked maybe once or twice, but it’s a good question. Can a clear tape stuck on top of a direct thermal label protect it from UV, rain and other outdoor elements?

In theory I would have said yes it would protect it from rain, dirt and abrasion but not from the hot ultraviolet and infrared exposure of the sun.

Of course this meant some testing was to be done.

The Test

On the 2nd of May I printed a label on a Brother QL-560 I happen to have on my desk (any brand direct thermal label will most likely have the same effect). I also have a roll of clear polyester that in my drawer which was perfect for this test. I stuck the DT label on a smooth corner of our building that gets the morning and midday sun, then the clear polyester over the bottom half of the label. What happened over three weeks was rather interesting.

The Results

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Frozen Labels | Extreme Testing

P-touch_TESTED TO THE EXTREMEWe know that Brother’s TZe tapes have been “tested to the extreme”, and that the Dymo industrial tapes are hard wearing, but how do other labels hold up.

I decided to run a test that had some interesting results. I got some direct thermal and thermal transfer labels, placed them on card cores from depleted tape rolls, doused them in water, kept them frozen and continued to give them a fresh splashing of water almost daily.

The test subjects were the following:

  • Dymo
    • Direct thermal LabelWriter label
    • Thermal transfer Rhino vinyl label
    • Thermal transfer Rhino nylon label
    • Thermal transfer Rhino polyester label
  • Brother
    • Direct thermal QL paper label
    • Direct thermal QL clear plastic label


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2016 Hand-Held Budget P-Touch label Printer Comparison

The P-Touch 80 has been revived by popular demand. It’s back from the dead as our cheapest P-Touch label printer with a QWERTY keyboard at only £14!* This keyboard makes it nice and familiar to use after using a computer keyboard. It’s got enough symbols to see you through, some snazzy frames and your usual font styles including bold, outline, and even vertical. This printer is also economical to run using the “M” tapes and only 4 AAA batteries.

If you’re looking for something with a little more punch, the P-Touch 90 is the upgrade of the 80. With over one hundred more symbols, more frames, and an optional power adaptor that isn’t discontinued, this is the printer to look at. If however you’re looking for more versatility in your tape colours, consider one of the next couple of models.

The ever-popular P-Touch 1000 has all the same features as always. Font styles, symbols, frames, you name it, it’s got it! Printing on the forever high quality TZe tapes in sizes from 6mm to 12mm, there’s a reason this printer is a winner at under a tenner!*

The PT-H105 is the newcomer to this series but certainly shouldn’t been shunned by the veterans. Being able to print on all the lower sizes of 3.5mm to 12mm, having nearly 180 symbols built-in, the largest display of the group, and printing at double the speed too, this should be the first printer to consider if you’re looking to label anything on a budget! Plus it’s only £3 more than the P-Touch 90!* You can’t go wrong.

If you have any questions or would like to order one of these printers, please call our helpful and friendly sales team on 0800 975 5040 today.

P-Touch 80, 90, 1000, H105

* Prices correct at time of publish.

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