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Selecting a Material

Selecting a Material

Here at Universal Smart Cards we take pride in the fact that we have a vast amount of knowledge in the smart card industry, meaning we can help you with all your smart card needs. We typically produce cards using PVC, PET, PETG, PC, ABS and Metal, which is eco-friendly and degradable.


PVC - PVC is the most common material used for card bodies; it is the least expensive and can be used for both contact and contactless cards. However, PVC can have a shorter life expectancy than other materials due to a lower resistance to heat, UV and bending stress which can cause your card to lose its quality finish over time; this is because the lamination and finishing layers can begin to peel away.

PET & PETG - PET and PETG are unique polyester materials that are eco-friendly and also durable. They have been designed and developed to enhance the physical durability of your cards for your applications. One of the key developments of these materials is that they can reduce the incidence of antenna connection breaks and contact plate separation caused by everyday use, flexing and bending of the card. Polyester cards are suitable for long-life application or where cards are required to withstand a certain amount of duress, such as ID Cards for education environments, military credentials, construction access, passports and more.

PCOffset Example 2 - PC stands for polycarbonate and this material offers a more rigid card body with a high resistance to damage from heat, flexing and UV. However, as a knowledgeable organization, we feel you should know that PC cards have a tendency toward breakability due to continuous automated handling which can create shatter cracks.

ABS - ABS cards are resistant to impact, heat and chemicals although they can become flammable, as it is possible for the material to reach a boiling point and burst into flames when exposed to high temperatures.. ABS cards have a high print quality making them the ideal material for graphic-heavy card applications such as branded access cards and ID cards for universities and high end organizations. When personalizing these cards, a re-transfer printer is required as ABS cards are not compatible with standard direct printers.

METAL - We provide the highest quality custom metal cards with lazer engraving and personalization and special print effects.  Various metal card body options are available with specialized printing options.   Metal cards are often used as VIP membership cards as the weight and feel of the card gives them a unique look and feel to other card types.

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