Glaze Types

Flat Glaze | Partial Glaze | Thin Glaze | Double Partial Glaze | Fine Glaze |
Super Fine Glaze | Full Glaze | Real Edge Head | Corner Edge Head |
 Background
On Kyocera printheads, glaze refers to a pattern of glass deposited on the surface of the ceramic substrate, underneath the thin film heaters. The outermost layer is the overcoat, not the glaze. Glaze is necessary for efficient performance of thermal printheads because it retards the escape of heat through the ceramic substrate, leaving more heat to flow into the thermal media.

 Flat Glaze
Flat glaze is a layer rather than a mound. It is very wide compared to the heater size, although it does not cover the whole ceramic wafer. Flat glaze printheads are preferred in fax application because the alignment of the platen roller to the heater line is less critical.

Flat Glaze icon
image:Flat Glaze
 

 Partial Glaze
Classic partial glaze is a mound of glass underneath the heater line. Partial glaze printheads dominate the bar code and label printer applications. Most of the standard Kyocera printheads are built on partial glaze. The heater indentation is elevated by the glaze mound for good contact with the media. The size of the partial glaze mound is well balanced between efficient dissipation and accumulation of heat.

Partial Glaze icon
image:Partial Glaze
 

 Thin Glaze
Thin glaze has smaller volume of glaze compared to partial glaze, so it more efficiently dissipates heat to the substrate and carries less heat over to the next print line. Thin glaze raises the print speed limit, beyond which history control is required. Thin glaze printheads are used to increase the speed of bar code and label printers.

Thin Glaze icon
image:Thin Glaze
 

 Double Partial Glaze
Double partial glaze has an additional convex just above the heater line, allowing for higher partial pressure against the media for more efficient heat transfer to the media. This feature works best for monochrome (black and white) printing with battery power.

Double Partial Glaze icon
image:Double Partial Glaze
 

 Fine Glaze
Fine glaze consists of narrow bead on top of a much wider base. The bead has a short radius of curvature, so that the steps of the electrodes do not touch the media and the platen force is entirely carried by the heater surfaces. This results in higher pressure against the media, better heat flow into the media and a sharper printed dot. The bead is extremely straight, assuring that all heaters are centered on the top of the bead, with their centers at exactly the same height across the printhead. Fine glaze is also relatively high to retard the escape of heat through the ceramic substrate. Fine glaze is used for printing digital photos or other continuous tone graphics.

Fine Glaze icon
image:Fine Glaze
 

 Super Fine Glaze
The heater line is formed on the top of the convex portion of the glaze layer that covers the entire surface of the ceramic substrate. Featuring a precise convex shape and greater flexibility for choosing glaze thickness, the super fine glaze covers a wide range of print speed requirements, allowing for high print quality and high heat efficiency.

Super Fine Glaze icon
image:Super Fine Glaze
 

 Full Glaze
Full Glaze is an advanced design to cover an entire surface of ceramic substrate. With its shape similar to Flat Glaze over the heater line area, it offers extended choice of glaze thickness for optimized heat control to create best print quality at any print speed requirements.

Full Glaze icon
image:Full Glaze
 

 Real Edge Type
The heater line is formed on the real edge of the ceramic wafer. Real edge type printheads have an advantage for full color printing on stiff media such as ID cards or prepaid cards that cannot be easily bent.

Real Edge Head icon
image:Real Edge Head
 

 Corner Edge Type
Due to the location of glaze formed on the corner edge of a ceramic wafer, corner edge type printheads have a very small glaze volume and achieve a very quick heat response.
The corner edge type is suitable for barcode applications.

Corner Edge Head icon
image:Corner Edge Head

Refer to Printing Speed for a discussion of the improved Thermal Response of thin glaze. The photos below show a print quality comparison between thin glaze and partial glaze at about 4 inches/sec.

printing image with tailing
Partial Glaze
printing image of thin glaze
Thin Glaze
Printing Conditions
Printhead: KPA-80-8MP/TA1;    Media: SH-13B (Oji Paper Co.)
Platen Diameter: 20 mm;    Pressure: 0.048 kgf/mm    Power=0.752 w/dot;     Tcy=1.25 ms;     Ton=0.5 ms

The lump at the bottom of the vertical stem of the partial glaze example is called tailing, where retained heat images an area which should remain white. The ragged leading edge occurs because there is not quite enough energy to fully heat the glaze from a cold state.

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