In the past, people saw polyvinyl chloride or PVC as the end-all material for the ID card, regardless of the specific purpose. However, that no longer applies in the present since there are newly available materials for card substrates.
The Background of PVC
PVC card substrates have multiple advantages for market use, such as its low-cost material and accessibility. Moreover, anything you print on them adheres excellently, and one can increase the card’s protection by laminating the card with holographic patch laminates, for example. Also, one can directly print color imaging on PVC and add security features. If you want to order affordable plastic id cards online. As you can see, the PVC substrate for ID cards is quite versatile, although that is no longer the case in the present.
At the present, PVC is only ideal for low-cost and quick ID production, but it comes with the downside of being easily reproducible, making it easy for anyone to create fraudulent documents. Furthermore, the card material itself is not as durable, which only lasts a few years. For cash cards and Driver’s Licenses, you replace them every three years or so. Lastly, PVC produces considerable amounts of environmental waste, which is another disadvantage of utilizing the material.
Composite cards differ from the pure PVC type as they include various materials which enhance the card’s durability and security. One often-used material constituent is PET, in different percentages such as 20%, 40%, or even 60%. Another type is the PETG core card, which is quite similar to PVC but less likely to bend. Furthermore, one can add security features to the composite types. Overall, composite cards have much more durability and security than PVC cards.
Polycarbonate or PC cards are another decent card substrate which has higher durability than PVC. PC is a thermoplastic polymer, a material that is produced via irreversible processes, which grant high resistance to both impact and temperature. To create them, manufacturers fuse together different layers of PC. For the personalization of data, ID makers utilize laser engraving to create text rather than a printer. Thanks to their overall high resistance and meticulous production, PC ID cards have a lifespan of longer than 10 years.
An alternative to the PC card is the Synthetic paper with PET card. The synthetic paper acts as the substrate material, which constitutes the core of the ID card. Then, one can personalize the card by printing and add a PET laminate for the finish. The advantage of synthetic paper with PET is that it is much higher durability thanks to its resistance to delamination. Overall, it is ideal for embedding antennae, chips, and electronics.
PVC cards are already an obsolete in the present, with the production of new card substrates. In fact, PVC is only viable for low-cost, quick production of ID cards, and little else. Nowadays, there are composite cards, polycarbonate cards, and synthetic paper with PET cards that are much more practical although expensive.