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What is the Main Material for Smart Cards

May 06, 2021

In daily life, the use of smart cards becomes more and more common. There are student cards in school, access cards in companies, credit cards in banks, and so on. And the expansion of the card printing machine’s industry is followed by the increasing demand for smart cards.

In the process of making a smart card, the quality and appearance of final smart cards are different with different materials. At present, there are two common materials used in the business of smart card printing on the market: polyolefin (including PVC, ABS) and polyester (including PC, PET, PETG).

The representative of polyolefin is PVC, which is a kind of plastic with good comprehensive properties. It not only has good electrical insulation but excellent flame resistance and chemical corrosion resistance. With the gradual promotion and application of various new card materials, PVC still occupies a large proportion of the market share of the PVC card printer because of its low production cost and superior performance.

PVC is suitable for IC cards whose surface needs to be printed with a magnetic stripe, holographic mark, signature, or embossed character.

Generally, PVC can be divided into soft PVC and hard PVC. The surface hardness, tensile strength, and rigidity of hard PVC are close to those of engineering materials. Besides, hard PVC is brittle at low temperatures and sensitive to change. It cannot recover completely after deformation. Therefore, most of the smart cards printed by the card printer on the market are made of rigid PVC materials.

One representative of polyester is PET. The original PET is not suitable for printing and binding, so the surface of PET material needs to be treated. That is why most of the common PET protective films on the market are coated with a layer of hot-melt adhesive, such as EVA. Some PET materials are used to synthesize a kind of low melting point polyester compound by photopolymerization grafting on the surface, so as to improve the printability and adhesion.

In the card printing industry, with the increasing number of issued cards, more and more cards are discarded. What's more worrisome is that white pollution is more severe nowadays as most smart cards are made of PVC material. So what kind of smart card is environmental-friendly?

This requires that the strength, characteristics, cost, and resources of materials need to be considered when choosing the main material of smart cards. In the overall process of manufacturing and recycling, we also have to balance whether the environmental burden we cause is minimum or not. Actually, the environmental-friendly material has one or more of the following four characteristics:

1. No toxic and harmful substances will be produced after the materials are discarded and treated manually.

2. It can be recycled to prolong the life cycle of materials.

3. It has a long service life and low renewal frequency.

4. The waste materials can be naturally degraded into harmless substances in a short period of time.

In addition to environmentally-friendly material required, the card printing process also needs to be environmentally friendly, such as less energy consumption for printing processing.

In order to effectively reduce the white pollution, we can print the smart cards through the PVC card printer when we need them, instead of mass production of a bunch of smart cards in advance. Therefore, a portable PVC card printer is what you need.

We are a high-tech company integrating smart card production and R&D of PVC card printing machines. Our self-service desktop PVC card printer is portable, which can meet card printing services of many industries, including commerce, enterprises, banks, schools, etc. If you are considering purchasing a batch of PVC card printing machine, you may contact Seaory.

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