Durable Cards using Melinex polyester film


We offer a unique range of biaxially orientated PET films designed specifically for the durable laminated cards market.  The combination of durability, cost effectiveness and simplicity of implementation has made Melinex® polyester film the number one choice in a wide range of National ID applications with over 20% of the world’s population keeping their identity secure with a card based on our products.  Other common applications for Melinex® PET card films are e-Health cards, drivers licences, mass transit ticketing, automotive key cards and many other long life applications worldwide with over 2.5 billion cards issued using Melinex® PET films in the past eight years.

What is Melinex® PET?

Melinex® is sometimes referred to as BOPET, PET or PETF. It is a biaxially oriented crystalline material with polymer chains locked together in a specific lattice structure. This means it is a much higher performing material than PVC or PETG. The structure gives it enhanced durability and excellent temperature resistance.

Melinex® PET –  a more sustainable choice for the cards industry

When it comes to product sustainability, we believe that this should be assessed holistically across the life cycle of our products and taking into account the impact on the wider value chains we operate in.   Across the life time of a card, Melinex® PET films deliver significant sustainability benefits compared to PETG, PV and PC in card laminate structures.

Melinex® has a significantly lower environmental impact during it’s production, with a low carbon foot print, low water usage and with zero hazardous materials used or produced as by products during the manufacturing process.  Melinex® card products are available with high levels of recycled content or 30% bio content further reducing the environmental impact at the start of life.

PET is the most widely recycled plastic globally, and we are actively researching ways of increasing the recycling rates of post industrial and even post consumer waste generated by the cards industry.  As Melinex® PET films are halogen free, they reduce the risk and cost of end of life options such as incineration when compared to other plastic materials often used in cards applications.

However, it is during the course of the product’s life time that Melinex® PET films deliver the biggest sustainability benefit.  Using relatively small percentages of Melinex® PET films in the final laminate structure significantly increases product life time, ultimately leading to the reduction of plastic use by the cards industry.

Melinex® PET range for cards and typical applications

Melinex® PET CORE range

The Melinex® CORE polyester film range comprises white films for the card body containing unique toughening agents to offer excellent resistance to flexure and impact.

Not only does Melinex® CORE polyester film offer class leading durability and temperature stability, it can be combined with PVC or PETG using standard lamination equipment without the need for special inks or off-line adhesives.  This flexibility to tailor the amount of Melinex® PET film in the card structure to give the optimum balance between performance and cost effectiveness is one of the key benefits when compared to alternative substrates such as Polycarbonate.

Melinex® CORE1 polyester film has one surface optimised for printing with UV curable and solvent based inks (full bleed printing possible) whilst maintaining good adhesion to overlay grade PVC and PETG.

Melinex® CORE2 polyester film is optimised to be used in conjunction with the Melinex® PROTECT overlay range and UV curable / solvent based inks (requires guilloche printing with > 40% of the card body unprinted). This combination gives the benefit of tamper evidence in the final structure as the two surfaces fuse together and cannot be separated by solvents or temperature.

Melinex® PET PROTECT range

Melinex® CORE polyester film is complemented by a range of clear, overlay films offering tamper evident credentials and a wide range of personalisation techniques.

  • SPO – Secure Personalisable Overlay. Suitable for personalisation via direct Dye Diffusion Thermal Transfer (D2T2) printing techniques
  • SRO – Secure Retransfer Overlay. Outer surface optimised to give excellent adhesion to D2T2 Retransfer printing techniques
  • LEO – Laser Engravable Overlay. Under development contact us for details.  In the meantime we have a range of structures offering laser engravability in PET composite cards – contact us for details.


Benefits of using Melinex® PET films


Card Manufacturer

  • Compatibility with PVC and PETG means that optimum balance between cost and performance can be achieved
  • Lamination on standard equipment at near standard conditions avoids the need for expensive machinery and special inks
  • Integral sealant layers avoid the need for off-line adhesives in many cases
  • Technical support and application development expertise available from our global range of contacts

 Card Issuer and Specifier

  • Melinex® polyester film offers the ultimate in durability, 5 – 10 year card life readily achieved
  • Excellent thermal stability and solvent resistance
  • Simplicity of implementation, Melinex® CORE can be introduced into the card body without significantly affecting card appearance or personalisation techniques employed
  • Melinex® PROTECT overlay range offers tamper evident solutions and a wide range of secure personalisation options
  • Melinex® polyester film offers extremely cost effective solution for durable, long life secure card applications
  • Mylar Specialty Films has excellent track record – over 2.5 billion cards issued using Melinex® polyester film