What is PVC card used for?
A PVC (polyvinyl chloride) card is a typical ID card. These cards are used for identification, credit/debit cards, membership cards, access cards, and more.
There are many ways to make an ID card, but in this tutorial we’re only going to talk about how to make a PVC ID card using an Inkjet Printer.
How PVC Cards are Made?
Many people don’t really understand what the differences in quality can even be when it comes to a simple item; such as blank PVC cards. Knowing how a PVC card is made can make a big difference in knowing how to look for quality.
Even though it might look like just a thin chunk of plastic, PVC cards are actually made up of at least a few even thinner layers of material.
The material type, thickness and number of the various layers, and quality of materials used all have a large effect on the final product.
For example, a standard, normal blank white PVC card would be made of up to several layers of white material layered to nearly the full thickness of the card.
Two layers of 300 microns for example. Then there are typically two final layers on the top and bottom made of a very thin clear material that is specifically finished for a variety of looks and printing options.
A card with a smart chip inside of it would use something like a single thick layer in the middle with a cutout for the chip, then to thin layer of white on either side to enclose the chip before the clear layers, making for a total of 5 layers of thin plastic for just one card!
The number of internal layers on a card is a good indicator of the quality of the cards. The layers act almost like plywood, and a higher number means that the card will stand up to the heat of printing and the rigours of use for longer. It will stay flat and look new for longer.
A PVC card made with just a single chunk of plastic in the middle. It might save on production costs using fewer layers, but you give up quality pretty fast.
The thin, clear outer coating of the card is the single determiner on it’s print quality, or even whether you can print on it at all.
A number of different materials can be used throughout the card to give it a particular surface quality, or to even further increase the rigid nature of the card.
Some outer surfaces, though, don’t even allow printing to be done on the card. They are to give a special effect or feeling to the card and assume that the middle layers are already printed using screen printing or some other preprinting process.
Though these methods can be a great choice in some circumstances and for certain customers, those cards won’t work properly when sent through a standard ID card printer.
Make sure you make the right choice can make a big difference, even on such a simple part of your system!
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