What Types of Cards Are Available?
The cards that you can use in your ID printer come in a variety of materials, thicknesses, and sizes. Check your printer’s user manual or ask an ID specialist for assistance in choosing the best type of card for your printer and application. Learn more about your card options below!
PVC is the most common material used to make ID cards. PVC is durable, strong, and can remain structurally-intact for a very long time. Composite cards, typically made of 60% PVC and 40% PET, offer added durability and warp resistance, and are perfect for lamination applications.
Earth-friendly bioPVC cards are made with 99% PVC that fully biodegrades within nine months to five years of continual exposure to microorganisms, minimizing our footprint on the planet. They perform just like standard 100% PVC cards. They maintain their integrity under normal, everyday use; they can get wet, be stored on a shelf or in a wallet, be printed, or UV-treated.
Rewritable cards feature a rewritable surface on one side and a PVC (dye-receptive) finish on the other side. These cards can be erased and re-printed up to 200 times. Rewriteable cards are often used for visitor cards.
Adhesive back cards feature a graphics-quality surface that allows you to print cards with high quality text and graphics. These are then often attached to a proximity card.
Card thicknesses can vary from 10 mil to 80 mil, with 30 mil being the most common. The card thickness accepted by ID card printers varies widely, so it is recommended that you check your user’s manual or call an ID specialist to check compatibility.
ID card printers come in all shapes and sizes. Most card printers are made to print on standard CR80 size cards, with a number of them also capable of printing on CR79 and CR100 size cards.
CR79 cards measure 3.303″ x 2.051″ and are slightly smaller than a standard CR80 size card. CR79 cards typically have an adhesive back and are commonly used for printing and adhering to a clamshell proximity card. If you’re thinking of printing on CR79 size cards, make sure to check that your ID card printer is capable.
CR80 cards are 3.375″ x 2.125″ (the same size as a credit card) and are the standard, most commonly used size of PVC card.
CR100 cards are a whopping 3.88″ x 2.63″ – that’s 42% larger than a standard CR80 card, making them easier to see from a distance and too big to hide in a wallet. CR100 size cards are often referred to as “oversize” or “military-size” cards. Note: Card printers with CR100 size card printing capability are very limited.
Your ID badge can serve as more than just identification; for example, your card can allow door access, track time and attendance, and more! Visit the Data Storage article to learn about the various types of technology cards available.
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