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Selecting a Material

pvc cardsHere 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 Luc-Bio, which is eco-friendly and degradable.

Keep reading to find out more, alternatively you can email us or give us a call on +44(0)333 700 0078 and we'll happily assist you.


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 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 organisation we feel you should know that PC cards have a tendency toward breakability due to continuous automated handling which can create shatter cracks.


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. 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 organisations. When personalising these cards a re-transfer printer is required as ABS cards are not compatible with standard direct printers.

We are proud to offer a product that has a highly positive impact on the eco system, yet meets the full technical and production requirements of our industry.

Email us or give us a call on +44(0)333 700 0078 and we'll happily assist you with any further questions you may have.