What are PVC Cards?
When you think about the term PVC Plastic, the next word that probably comes to mind is either “pipes” or “cards”. While these 2 products have very different uses, they are actually made up of the same basic material.
PVC stands for polyvinyl chloride and according to Wikipedia, it is the world’s third most produced synthetic plastic polymer. It was initially discovered in 1872 but it wasn’t until 1926 when the B.F. Goodrich Company blended it with various additives that it achieved the widespread commercial use we see today. About 40 million tons of PVC are produced each year worldwide.
PVC comes in two basic forms - rigid and flexible. The rigid form is used to create those famous plastic pipes and plastic cards. It can also be made in a more flexible form for use in electrical cable insulation, flooring, etc.
What are PVC Cards Used For?
Just about everyone with a wallet is carrying around at least one, usually many PVC plastic cards. They are most popular in the form of bank cards and credit cards with other popular uses including ID cards, RFID cards, membership cards, gift cards, VIP Cards, loyalty cards, and more.
Why Would Someone Want to Order Printed vs Blank PVC Cards?
If you are thinking about ordering plastic cards to create your own ID cards, membership cards, security access passes, or any other type of PVC Cards, there are two routes you can take: Full Service or Self Service.
If you are looking for a full service solution, you will want to order printed plastic cards. With this option, you will order your cards from a company that prints plastic cards such as Print Robot and receive completed cards in the mail. If you have a need for personalized cards that are printed on-demand, this company also offers an inventoried shell program. This would allow you to print cards containing everything but the personalized text such as the name, ID number, etc. The shells would then be stored for you and personalized as needed.
If you are looking for a self service solution, you will want to order blank PVC cards. With this option, you will need your own plastic card printer. This will give you the opportunity to print your own cards as needed. Click here to learn more about how to print your own plastic cards.
While it is easy to find blank white PVC cards, there aren’t many companies that produce them in a wide range of colors in-house. BlankPlasticCards.com offers one of the largest selections of blank plastic cards and proudly manufacturers all of their products in the USA.
Here are the most popular blank PVC colors ranked by color:
- Metallic Silver
- Metallic Gold
- Metallic Red Gold
- Light Blue
- Dark Blue
- Dark Green
- Fluorescent Green
- Fluorescent Yellow
- Metallic Copper
- Hospital Blue
- Fluorescent Pink
- Fluorescent Orange
- Fluorescent Red
- Fluorescent Blue
Aside from color, plastic cards can be configured in a variety of ways to fit your needs.
When it comes to size, CR-80 is the industry standard which is equal to 3.375” x 2.125” and features rounded corners like a standard credit card. Many thermal plastic card printers are only compatible with these exact dimensions. That being said, blank plastic cards can be created in virtually any shape or size. If you are looking for something other than a rectangle or square, a custom die may need to be created which allows your custom shape to be stamped out.
The most popular plastic card thickness is 30 mil like a standard credit card. Blank PVC cards can also be made as thin as 10 mil or as thick as 50 mil. The thinner the card, the more flexible they are with something as thick as 50 mil being quite rigid.
Gloss finish is most popular on blank plastic cards but matte and satin finishes have also been gaining in popularity in recent years.
Depending on what you plan to use your plastic cards for, you may want to add a magnetic stripe. These are most popular with credit cards and gift cards. While sometimes they are just added for looks, magnetic stripe cards are typically encoded with data so they can be swiped using some type of POS or security system. Click here to learn how to select the right magnetic stripe for your blank plastic cards.
RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) cards are embedded with contactless microchips that are barely visible to the naked eye. When properly encoded, they can be programmed to wireless open RFID devices (typically doors). The most common uses for RFID plastic cards are hotel key cards and security access cards.
Slots & Punches
If your cards will be used for ID cards or security badges, you may want to order them with a hole punch or slot punch in the top center or one of the corners so they can be adhered to a keychain or lanyard.
By request, blank plastic cards can be shrink wrapped in batches of 100. This helps to reduce dust and particles that can get in between the cards and affect print quality.
Looking to buy cheap blank PVC cards?
BlankPlasticCards.com offers incredibly low prices on plastic cards. We proudly manufacture all of cards in the USA and can accommodate just about any color, shape, size, or thickness you may need - including RFID embedded plastic cards. Click here to view instant pricing
Looking for something more unique? Click here to request a custom quote