All PVC card printers, such as an id card printer made by Fargo, need PVC cards to print on. There are various specifications as to the type, size and thickness of the card needed for your application. Based on your requirements, the card printer needed for the project may change because of the specific card type needed. Following are definitions of the various cards available.
Image Grade CR-80 30 mil PVC card
This pvc card is the most common card used in standard ID card printers. All printer manufacturers, Fargo, Evolis, Zebra-Eltron, MagiCard, Nisca and CIM, make printers that will use this card type. Known as the credit card size badge, this card is about the same size and thickness of a standard VISA or MasterCard.
CR-100 PVC card
This card is a specialized card that allows for a larger format than the image grade PVC card. Sometimes known as a military size card, the card is used in a smaller number of specialized applications.
60/40 composite PVC card
This card is generally more durable than the standard 30 ml PVC card. The card is made of a 60/40 blend composite that consists of part PVC material and part polyester. This blend gives the composite PVC cards more flexibility than a standard card. Often, these cards are used in printers that apply an overlaminate or a holograph overlay to the card at the end of the print cycle. These cards are also used in transfer printers. These printers apply extreme heat from the printhead during the print process. Standard image grade cards can warp due to the heat of these transfer id card printers.
Magnetic stripe card
The card contains a magnetic encodable strip on the card. The card, itself, can be image grade or a 60/40 composite.
There are many variations from various manufacturers in this category of PVC cards. These cards contain the necessary components to operate systems such as access or security systems. They are made to look and go through an id card printer just like other types of PVC cards, but they have embedded electronics in them.
Clam shell card
This card is usually not able to maintain a print from an id card printer due to its surface texture. If the card also needs to work as an id card, the pressure sensitive printable card may be used for conversion purposes.
Pressure sensitive printable card
These cards come in various sizes and thicknesses to meet different needs. The most common size is the CR-80 size. A CR-79 pressure sensitive card is often used on clam shell cards. Pressure sensitive cards come in three normal thicknesses. They are the 10 mil, 14 mil and 24 mil. Too thin to pass through an id card printer, these cards are backed with material that will allow the card to pass through a standard 30 mil id card printer and then peel off for application to the specialized card.
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