Secure ID Card Overlamination

While modern ID cards are more secure than their cut past and laminate cousins of yesteryear, they are vulnerable to counterfeiting. 

For many applications, the concern of ID card duplication is not great, and the risks of someone possessing a fraudulent card do not outweigh the additional expenses or processes required to eliminate it. However, there are applications where the security of an ID card is vital and can help prevent damage to property and people.

One way to combat ID card fraud is through Secure ID Card Overlamination.

ID card overlamination is a conventional technology used to secure ID cards across the world as it provides the options of high security features, like holograms, latent images and hidden text. ID card overlamination also increases the durability of the printing on a card and protects it from fraudulent modification.

Overlamination is used in many applications such as; Drivers licenses, Law enforcement, Corporate ID’s, and Secure facility access.

Some card film manufacturers use the word “varnish” to refer to a top-coat that goes over the card, even though traditionally a varnish layer on a product is typically applied wet, requiring drying, unlike the card lamination process. The more accurate terms to use are; Overlaminate (Overlay) which describes an “Outer Layer of Lamination”, with Lamination being the process of joining thin layers of a substance together.

Film and Patch – Whats the Difference? 

There are two common type of laminates used on ID cards, they are;

  • The Overlaminate Film (Overlay Film),
  • and the Overlaminate Patch (Overlay Patch)

An Overlay Film is a thin, 2.7-micron layer similar to the clear layer that is used by most standard colour card printing processes. While less durable than the Overlay Patch, it is applied “over the edge” of the card with no visible border between it and the edge of the card.  Overlay Film is also so thin, that after lamination it is very difficult to remove the layers without destroying the film.

An Overlay Patch is a pre-cut piece of PET (i.e. patch) rolled onto a film, which is laminated via heat and pressure onto the card. The patch comes in 15, or 25 microns, 5-10 times thicker than an Overlay Film, providing significantly increased durability of 5+ years. However, as a pre-cut piece, it needs to be placed and centred on the card, and therefore is smaller than the card, creating a 1-2mm  border between the lamination and the edge of the card.

Clear Overlay Patch

Holographic Overlay Patch

Holographic Overlay Film

Security Features

There is a wide range of security features available on a holographic overlay.  These features include; Overt highly visible images, Covert hidden features, Forensic features, Dynamic images, Hologram like rainbow effects, Guilloche patterns, 3D effects and many more.  The full range of standard secure effects are available on both Overlay Patch and Overlay Films. More information on Secure Effects can be provided on request.

Overlaminate Options

Secure Overlaminates are designed to be destroyed when removed from the card.  Often partnered with re-transfer card printers, the PPC Overlaminate patch is put onto the card via a hot roller, in a purpose-built card laminator.  PPC’s card laminators are available in stand-alone, or in-line configuration, depending on the printers in use.

Laminate Patches and Films are designed to work with a wide variety of plastic ID card substrates, including PVC, composite PVC, PET, PC and card stocks that are personalised with dye diffusion thermal transfer (D2T2) and resin re-transfer printing technologies.

Clear Overlaminate Patch

The Clear Overlaminate Patch provides excellent adhesion and durability to protect the personalised data on ID cards against alteration and daily wear and tear.

PPC Clear Laminate Patch

Holographic Laminate Patch

The Holographic Laminate Patch is similar to the Clear Patch, in that it provides increased durability of the card, but also improves the security of the card through the use of one or more security features printed into the Overlaminate.

PPC uses Covid Holographic Laminate Patch Technology, which provides excellent adhesion and durability to protect personalised data against daily wear and tear. 

PPC Holographic Laminate Patch

Holographic Laminate Film

Available on large rolls, Holographic Laminate Film provides a lower cost per card, and while durability is increased, it isn’t as durable to wear and tear as a patch, though it may be more suitable in environments with high humidity.  Holographic Laminate Films also provide an improved ascetic, due to its edge to edge coverage. In high-end applications that require the highest security and durability, Overlaminate Film and Overlaminate Patches can be combined, but it does increase the hardware investment.

PPC uses Covid Holographic Laminate Film Technology, which provides excellent adhesion and durability to protect personalised data against daily wear and tear. 

PPC Holographic Laminate Film

Our sales team at PPC can assist you further should you have any questions or would like more information about security overlamination. To contact us please fill out the form below, call our main number at the top of the page.

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