At PlasCards we offer two types of plastic card printing to choose from;
- Composite Layered Plastic: -
plastic cards have a printed synthetic "Teslin" like core, typically 10
mils thick. All printing is done on the core, and then we die-cut and laminate
it on both sides to bring the
total card thickness to the desired thickness of 30 mil.
- PVC Plastic Cards: - With
cards, the printing is done on the actual plastic material, a variety of UV coatings
can be applied to for the desired finish.
Two Most Obvious Differences: -
- Both card types have the same standard 30 mil plastic thickness.
However, the composite cards are a little bit more bendable, thus preventing
it from breaking, whereas PVC cards are more sturdy, and as a solid plastic will break if its forcibly bent. -
- Composite cards have a strong lamination over the print, making the
cards extremely durable, and water resistant. - VS - PVC that only has a
thin coating above the print and artwork, and therefore does not have the same
Story Time: - We recently had a client accidentally have their composite plastic cards go through the washer, and then the dryer. Afterwards, those cards were as bright and clear as the other cards which didn't go through the washer/dryer,
and the lamination was intact and showed no sign of detachment or leaking. - We definitely made a believer out of this client...
Let's take a look into the various pros and cons for each
Composite Plastic Cards Printing
- Digitally printed, on a digital commercial press. = Photo quality, full one to one
variable capability on the press
- Lamination over the print = Extreme durability and water resistant. - Composite cards have an overall much longer life span, and will last a lot longer than PVC cards
- Fast process = After proof approval, we can rush production
turn time on most orders.
- Various lamination options = The finish you
need for application, such as: gloss, matte writable, thermal
printable, acrylic and magstripes
- Multiple thicknesses = Thickness can be adjusted by
altering the core and laminate thicknesses. Up to 30 mil thick.
PVC Plastic Cards Printing
- Digital Offset Printing = Photo quality - Has a lot of limitations with
variable data (because of the plates involved which requires the burning of new plates when copy changes).
- Solid card = A good example would be a credit card.
- UV coating = Multiple finishes are available to meet the needs of your
application, such as: gloss, matte writable, thermal
printable, acrylic and magstripes
- Multiple thicknesses = From 10 mil to 30 mil thick
PVC VS Composite for Variable Data Printing
- Composite plastic cards provides the most flexibility for
variable data printing
- Variable can be added at the press or offline
- Can provide true one to one variable
- Variable data can be any images, fonts, colors, etc.
Bottom Line: When comparing both plastic materials, more often then
not, composite plastic is a better choice when creating
cards for your business, or
plastic membership cards that need variable data printing. - PVC cards is a
better choice when you need a magnetic stripe on a matte writable finish, or
when you need to write and erase multiple times on your matte writable cards. -
If you are still not sure, we can mail you physical samples of both types, to
help you make a better and more educated decision.
- PVC plastic cards has more limitations
- Variable is added offline after the printing process
- Variable data is limited to black letters and numbers with a limited
- PVC cards will not print variable images