Plastic cards are an integral part of everyday life. Almost all cards you use like credit cards, your driving license, ID card, etc. are plastic cards. PVC or Polyvinyl chloride makes up the whole card. Although these cards may seem uncomplicated, a lot goes into manufacturing them. Most often they are highly durable and long-lasting. However, the quality of the material affects the extent of its utility.

What are the components of a plastic card?

Plastic cards, as they may look, are not one single layer of plastic. They are made up of multiple very thin layers of PVC. A plastic card comprises three elements – the core, the pre-laminated inlay, and the overlay film.

They make the core from PVC resin. They mix in dyes, opacifying chemicals, etc., to obtain the ideal appearance and consistency. The graphics and text appear on this core. The pre-laminated inlay can be NFC, RFID, or manifold chip type. The overlay film is a transparent covering. It shields the data such as barcodes, photographs, and names on the card. It protects the card from liquids, tamper, abrasion, or harsh chemicals. The film also retains the color and vibrancy of the graphics in the card. Moreover, it helps prevent reproduction.

How is a plastic card manufactured?

The process of manufacturing plastic cards is minimal yet involves multiple steps. Since the core is made from PVC, dyes and other chemicals are added to it. Then, they laminate the core with transparent plastic. This lamination helps protect the core when exposed to heat or high pressure.

The manufacture of plastic cards does not happen individually. Large sheets of plastic are used for mass printing. Firstly, they make the core and laminate it. Then they compress it, following which they print text and graphics on it. After that, they seal the core with the overlay film, which offers protection. Finally, they divide the printed sheet into separate cards.

How do you customize your plastic card?

Many printing presses offer to customize your plastic cards. Some of the parameters that can be altered during the production of plastic cards are:

  • The process of personalization begins with its design. You can either fashion your design or choose from the variety of templates readily available.
  • You can also choose the quality of the material. To enjoy its benefits more practically, you may go with the highest quality. However, higher-quality also means more cost.
  • Ensure the quality of the other components too, such as the dye, printer ink, and overlay film. This results in a high-quality final product.
  • Making quality checks throughout the manufacture of the cards. One should take care in every step of the process to ensure high quality.
  • The cards can be manufactured in any style or size. You can choose the colors that go in and the dimensions of the cards.
  • You can also go with a rounded-edged card to avoid cuts due to sharp corners. The finish of the cards could be glossy or matte.
  • Any text, picture, or other graphics can be printed on the cards.

Extra elements to add to your card

Plastic cards are not only customizable but can also be enhanced with exceptional features. Since ID cards are often the key to security systems in offices, they specialized in safety codes or chips. Similarly, you can add many other extra components to the plastic card, according to their use. They are:

  • You may use ultraviolet prints to include secret text or codes on the card. This type of print is only visible under UV light.
  • Magnetic strips can be added at the back, and any data can be encrypted in the card.
  • You can include barcodes and QR codes on the card to ensure security. This also helps track them as in credit cards. Moreover, they help prevent duplication.
  • A signature panel contains your signature or handwriting engraved on it.
  • The cards often have holographic stickers or holograms on them to ensure security.
  • Highly advanced technology such as contactless and contact chip technology can be incorporated into them.
  • Personalization such as names and numbers can be printed individually.


Plastic is the ideal material for the manufacture of high-profile and vital. Since these cards are waterproof, tamper-proof, and do not react to chemicals or UV light. They are highly practical and everybody uses them. The manufacture of plastic is a simple process. It is perfect for mass production and as well as customization. These cards last through time and remain just like when they were made.