Types of PVC Cards

All ID card printers need PVC cards on which to print. There are a variety of specifications, such as type, size, and thickness of the card needed for different applications. Depending upon your requirements, the card printer needed for the project may change because of the specific card type needed. These are the available types of cards:

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, Datacard, 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 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 PVC material and polyester. This blend gives the composite PVC cards more flexibility than standard cards. 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 re-transfer printers as these printers apply extreme heat from the printhead during the print process, sometimes causing standard image grade cards to warp.

Magnetic Stripe Card

This card contains an encodable magnetic strip on the card. The card itself can be image grade or a 60/40 composite.

Proximity Card

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 can be printed on just like other types of PVC cards to serve as visual identification, but they also have embedded electronics that can store data.

Clam Shell Card

This card usually cannot maintain a print from an ID card printer due to its surface texture. In order to serve as an ID card, a pressure sensitive card that has been printed on can be affixed to the clam shell card.

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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