Applications Cleanroom Labels Direct Thermal Cleanroom Labels

Direct Thermal Cleanroom Labels

Cleanroom direct thermal labels are heat-sensitive labels optimized for contamination-control environments where direct thermal printing is used to record and track short term information. CleanMark’s direct thermal labels are composed of 100% synthetic embedded with thermochromic ink that produces crisp, high quality upon selective area heating with print head. Our labels are coated with a special resin that protects from solvents and chemicals while not disrupting print accuracy and readability. These labels are ultra low outgassing, feature an ultra removable adhesive, and reduced silicone release liner that mitigate cross-contamination risk in cleanrooms and similar critical environments.

Product Resources

Direct Thermal Cleanroom Label Features

  • Rated for ISO 5 or higher cleanrooms
  • Ultra low out-gassing face stock and adhesives 
  • Ultra-low leachables and low particulate matter
  • Quick-ship pressure sensitive
  • Clean removability 
  • Tested for surface particles, cleaned and double bagged

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Direct Thermal Cleanroom Label Options

Cleanroom + Sterile

Labels manufactured with synthetic materials, processed in a Class 100 cleanroom and sterilized to prevent contamination from harming patients, research and products.

Cold Storage

Labels designed for use in cold storage applications can withstand exposure to ultra low temperatures and moisture so that they remain in place and legible.

Chemical Resistance

Labels engineered with durable materials can withstand direct exposure and immersion to harsh industrial chemicals and solvents so that they remain in place and legible.


Labels designed for use in autoclave devices can withstand high temperatures, moisture and pressure so that they remain in place and legible when exposed to sterilization.


Labels manufactured with radiation sensitive material that changes color from yellow to red when exposed to gamma irradiation to help identify products that have been sterilized.


EtO sterilization process indicators are EtO sensitive labels which undergo a significant color change from purple to green upon exposure to ethylene oxide concentration of 450 mg/L.

Advantages & Limitations Of Direct Thermal Cleanroom Labels


  • Direct-to-label printing with no ribbons required, eliminating common ribbon problems including wrinkling, monitoring, and reloading the ribbon

  • Produce high volumes of simple labels cheaply.

  • Prints sharp black and white text along with 1D and 2D barcodes.

  • Environmentally economical and lower carbon footprint vs thermal transfer

  • Lower operation costs vs inkjet, laser or thermal transfer printers.


  • Not ideal for long term labeling due to color fade or yellowing

  • Very sensitive to environmental effects

  • Does not withstand scratch or abrasion

  • Printheads tend to wear out faster vs thermal transfer due to excess sliding friction across the labels

  • Limitations on fine precision barcode accuracy

  • Limited to black on white printing only

  • Limited material selections

Direct Thermal vs. Thermal Transfer Cleanroom Label Considerations

When choosing between the two label archetypes, the number one factor to weigh when choosing which label type to deploy is life expectancy. For labels that require life spans beyond 3-6 months, then thermal transfer is recommended to be selected by default. However, for short term application, other considerations below can then be considered.
  • Price per printed label ─ Direct thermal labels tend to have more elevated cost per print but at scale some of the costs are offset by lower operational and maintenance costs. 
  • Wear and tear of the printhead ─ Direct thermal labels are far more susceptible to particulate matter contamination and heat related stress due to friction. As such, the service life of direct thermal printheads is considerably less than thermal transfer printheads.
  • SKU count and Inventory ─ Direct thermal labels typically have a single SKU compared to multiple SKUs often seen thermal transfer labels due to the extensive option available for thermal transfer labels. This streamlines inventory requirements for procurement, shipping, tracking and storage.
  • Maintenance and downtime ─ Direct thermal label printers typically have lower expenses pertaining to maintenance because ribbon management is not required. As such, direct thermal printers tend to have less downtime vs thermal transfer printers.
  • Environmental Impact ─ Direct thermal labels generate minimal waste and maintain a lower carbon footprint vs thermal transfer labels.
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