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Standard multiple layer cards made from PVC with contact chips or RFID transponders may have a lifetime of up to 10 ye¬ars if treated carefully and protected. Furthermore, they can also be used in temperature ranges between -10 °C and +50 °C without any difficulties. Higher temperature and breaking resistances can be achieved by using alternative materials (see High-temperature Cards). Generally, the lifetime of every card can be extended considerably, and the printed image protected over the course of years, if a number of tips are followed. Especially, ID- and access cards are exposed to heavy use due to the daily frequency of operation. The following tips will help you to protect your plastic card from early failure:
Only use a card for the intended purpose.
Do not attempt to mechanically open doors using the card.
Use a hard PVC or polycarbonate sleeve to protect your card. Choose a sleeve suitable for the way in which the card is used.
Keep the card away from sleeves or wallets that contain softeners (e.g. many leather items, sleeves from soft PVC etc.).
Do not bend, fold or twist your card.
Do not leave your card exposed in the car, particularly not behind the windshield. With the exception of cards that have been designed specifically for this purpose.
Do not make holes in your card yourself.
Protect your card against direct sunlight and temperatures exceeding +50 °C (value applies only to PVC cards).
Do not carry your card in your wallet, briefcase or pocket without protection.
Keep magnetic strips away from magnetics and magnetic radiation (e.g. caused by mobile phones or medical devices).
Do not use your ID-card to scrape ice or open bottles.
Do not attempt to read or manipulate the data saved on your card.
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