Similar to thermal transfer, except uses direct heat without a ribbon to the paper. This paper is coated with a heat reactive chemical containing dye, which turns the label black. There are different grades of direct thermal: visible light, near infrared and infrared. Infrared uses a special scanner, contains more carbon to produce a darker image, and is more costly. This material must run at a higher temperature and has a shorter shelf life, being susceptible to light and heat.