Secure identification card

Proven Card Substrates for Secure Credentials and ID Cards

For nearly two decades, PPG TESLIN® substrate has been entrusted by governments, security agencies and other card issuers around the world to enhance the security and integrity of billions of credentials and identification cards.  Today, these organizations continue to rely on the unique performance characteristics of Teslin substrate to aid in the creation of document-related security solutions, and to provide the cost-efficiencies associated with less complex production requirements and extended document life.   
Performance benefits of Teslin substrate for secure credentials and ID cards

  • Easy to authenticate through features that are visually distinguishable to agents
  • Difficult to counterfeit because they incorporate multiple layers of security features to enhance complexity
  • Durable and long-lasting to withstand normal handling abuse
  • Cost-effective to produce due to efficient processing

typical ID card constructionEasy to Authenticate
The first strategy governments and security programs use to combat counterfeiters is to design and issue credentials that can be quickly and easily authenticated by agents, officers and security personnel. As a single-source material available exclusively through PPG Industries, Teslin Security-Grade substrate can aid authentication through:

  • Embedded security features – Incorporating extruded security features embedded throughout the material’s structural matrix heightens the security of Teslin substrate because such features take on a uniquely random appearance that is easily visually distinguishable to trained officers.  They also are visually distinct from security features that can only be added with a coating or by printing, which provides a level of security not possible with print or other post-processing features. 
  • High-definition printing for superior photo imaging – Inks and toners absorb into Teslin substrate, resulting in superior photo resolution.  Whether printed in black-and-white or color, Teslin substrate eases authentication by depicting credentialed individuals more realistically than other synthetics used for the same applications. The addition of high-resolution color photos to credentials with laser-engraved photos also enables agents to detect if laser-engraved images have been altered after a credential has been issued.

Learn how Teslin substrate is fulfilling North Carolina’s quest for best-in-class REAL IDs.

Difficult to Replicate
The second line of defense for governments and security organizations is to make credentials difficult to replicate. Because substrates used for secure credentials are relatively easy to source, three strategies are commonly employed to make them hard to imitate and produce in high volume, including:

  • Multiple layers of security features – Teslin substrate can be combined with polycarbonate (PC), polyvinyl chloride (PVC), polyethylene terephthalate (PET) and glycol-modified polyethylene terephthalate (PET-G) to produce multi-component credentials that incorporate the best security features of each substrate, including lamination strength, high-resolution color photography, laser-engraving, embedded covert and forensic security markers, and long-term protection of embedded electronics.
  • Single-sourcing – Teslin substrate is manufactured exclusively at PPG’s plant in Barberton, Ohio, a precaution that is designed specifically to eliminate the threat of counterfeiters gaining access to this made-to-order substrate through unsecured public sources.
  • Custom formulations Teslin Security-Grade substrate can be produced in program-specific formulations that facilitate tracking and verification of the material at any point in its service life, from initial manufacture (cradle) at the Barberton plant through issuance and final destruction or disposal (grave). 

card substrate for secure identification cardsDurable and Long-Lasting
Credentials fabricated with Teslin substrate typically outlast those made with other synthetic substrates due to the following characteristics:

  • Lamination strengthDuring lamination and printing, laminates, inks and toners instantly flow into the pores of Teslin substrate’s polyolefin-silica matrix to create powerful mechanical bonds that are up to 10 times more resistant to delamination than other synthetics without the use of adhesives. 
  • Advanced cushioning – Teslin substrate offers advanced cushioning for better protection of integrated chips, antennae, and other embedded electronics or biometric information.  As a result, credentials fabricated with Teslin substrate provide longer service life than those made with less absorbent and adhesive materials.
  • Bonding strength – The bonding strength of Teslin substrate makes it inherently tamper-evident and tamper-resistant. If counterfeiters or criminals try to alter credentials formulated with Teslin substrate, the structural matrix permanently distorts, visually exposing the attempted adulteration and alerting security personnel to the potential fraud.

Cost-Effective to Produce
Secure credentials that incorporate Teslin substrate as the print layer can be printed through high-volume, high-speed digital printing.  This technology is not compatible with other plastic print-layer materials, which can only be processed individually through slower, more costly printing processes. That means Teslin substrate can potentially reduce production costs.
Other advantages associated with Teslin substrate include:

  • Compatibility with most digital and security printing technologies
  • Enhanced protection of bar codes and other critical printed data due to exceptional ink absorption and resistance to delamination
  • Excellent flexibility, chip-resistance and crack-resistance

Teslin substrate-based credentials provide a highly secure product, lower overall program expenses and increase the security of the individuals the credentials are intended to protect.

Contact us to request samples and learn more about the high-performance benefits of Teslin substrate synthetic paper for secure credential and ID cards.


Discover why governments and institutions around the world trust PPG TESLIN substrate to increase the durability and security of credentials and other critical documents.

Typical Applications

  • National IDs
  • e-Passport programs
  • National drivers’ license programs
  • Other secure federal government credentials
  • Voter registration cards
  • Birth certificates
  • Visas
  • Social security cards
Recommended Product Grades 
  • Security-Grade
  • SP
  • TS
  • Digital
  • Blue
  • 6 mil/152 micron
  • 7 mil/178 micron
  • 10 mil/254 micron
  • 14 mil/356 micron
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