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Durability of Teslin® Laminated Products

Quality and durability are two key components for a successful card based program. The appearance and longevity of the cards and keytags will either impress your customers, or disappoint them. With many materials to choose from, one might wonder what the advantages are of the Teslin® core laminated card products you have seen on this site. There has been a considerable amount of information circulated about the two primary materials one has to choose from for their card program: Teslin® and PVC. Let's look at the facts.

Teslin® is a waterproof synthetic paper manufactured by PPG Industries, Inc. Teslin® is porous and flexible, allowing for high quality offset lithographic printing, laser variable imaging, and lamination. The variable data printed on the Teslin® (bar codes, numbers etc.) is sealed under super tough polyester laminate. The data is protected and will read and scan like new for years. The result of our process is a very durable, attractive product that is very price competitive.

PVC is a rigid plastic that allows for offset lithographic printing as well, and can also be laminated. An important difference between the PVC and Teslin® card manufacturing process is that the variable data is imaged onto a PVC card after the lamination process. This means that the data is printed on the outside surface of the card and is not protected. Typically, bar codes and numbers begin to wear away after a few months of normal use. This is especially true of key tags, which are exposed to much more wear and tear than a card that is protected in your wallet or purse. Some PVC card manufacturers have attempted to solve this problem by applying a clear label or patch on top of the bar code and number. In the cases we have seen, these labels peel or rub off in a short time as well, leaving the variable data exposed to wear. The polyester laminate we use in our Teslin® core products is thick, rugged, and will not rub off or wear away.

Over the years, we have manufactured many products for customers who had previously used PVC products in their programs. Many of them had experienced data loss as a result of poor durability of those PVC products. Data loss of this nature requires re-issuing a new card package to the customer. Not only does re-issuing cost the retailer additional dollars, but it also reflects poorly on the overall card program in the mind of the customer. If their card or keytag wears out, they have to go through the hassle of getting a replacement. In every case, our Teslin® laminated products solved the problem of premature data loss due to its' superior construction and materials.

Now that we have compared Teslin® laminated and PVC products in regards to the durability of variably imaged data, let's look at magnetic stripe durability. There has been much debate on this issue in the last few years, and we have spoken to the experts to find out what the facts are. Imants Ejups of Transilwrap, a leading supplier of laminate film to the card manufacturing industry had some great insight on this topic. "Typical magnetic tapes used on PVC card structures are processed with the ferrous oxide laid down in a slurry (liquid state) format onto the carrier. Prior to applying the slurry, the carrier is treated with a release coating. This coating is necessary to allow the slurry to release onto the PVC, and acts as an abrasion resistant layer on the card. The abrasion resistance lasts approximately 300 cycles in a Taber abrasion test. In the case of a polyester thermal laminated product, the tape is processed in a different manner. Though the ferrous oxide is applied to the carrier in a slurry fashion, a post treatment of a 2 micron thick hard coat is applied. This results in a more secure bond with an abrasion resistance exceeding 650 cycles in a Taber abrasion test. The polyester product also provides resistance to solvents (MEK), gasoline, plasticizers and other chemicals, none of which are protected against with a PVC product." What does all this technical information mean for a card based program? It means that you can rest assured that our line of polyester laminated Teslin® products are superior in durability to PVC products in regards to both imaged and encoded magstripe data. For loyalty, electronic gift card, and other programs, Teslin® is the clear choice. For the ultimate combination of quality, durability, delivery and price, look no further than StoneHouse and our line of Teslin® laminated card and keytag products.

Teslin® is a registered trademark of PPG Industries, Inc.