US 3417497 A
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D. F. HANNON IDENTIFICATION CARD Filed Aug. 14, 1967 Fully. LENB and ,6 i Hflln'nh Fig.3
' INVENTOR. DONALD F. HANNON A TTORNEYS United States Patent 3,417,497 IDENTIFICATION CAR Donald F. Hannon, Willoughhy, Ohio, assignor to Laminex Industries, Inc., a corporation of Ohio Continuation-impart of application Ser. No. 373,664, June 9, 1964. This application Aug. 14, 1967, Ser. No. 662,841
14 Claims. (Cl. 402.2)
ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE Improved identification card in which printing is disposed between two layers of bonding material.
Cross references to related applications and patents (1) This is a continuation-in-part of Ser. No. 373,664, filed June 9, 1964, by Donald F. Hannon under the title, "Identification Card, now abandoned in favor of this continuation-in-part.
(2) Patent Re. 25,005, entitled, Identification Card, issued July 4, 1961, to Donald F. Hannon.
(3) Patent 2,984,030, issued May 16, 1961, to Donald F. Hannon.
(4) Patent 3,309,983, issued Mar. 21, 1967, to L. L. Dresser under the title, Continuous Plastic Laminator.
Background of the invention Field of the inventi0n.-This invention relates to identification cards and more particularly to laminated identification cards in which a photograph of the identified person, together with identifying indicia, is contained within a clear, protective, plastic envelope.
This invention is an improvement of the identification card disclosed in Patent Re. 25,005, issued July 4, 1961, to D. F. Hannon, under the title, Identification Card. The perferred card disclosed in the reissue patent consists of a central paper core upon which a photograph is mounted and identifying indicia is printed. The paper core is sandwiched between two layers of a plastic material sold commercially under the trademark Mylar which layers are bonded to the core by laminae of polyethylene. A grid-like pattern is printed on the inner surface of one of the Mylar layers and superposed over the photograph.
In US. Patent 2,984,030, issued May 16, 1961, to D. F. Hannon, an improvement over the reissue patent is described and claimed wherein the grid is printed at the interface between the photograph and the plastic bonding material and preferably on the plastic bonding material. The purpose of the location of the grid on the bonding material is that if heat is carefully applied to the laminated structure with the heat exactly controlled so that the Mylar does not decompose in any way, but the polyethylene does soften, one is still unable to tamper with the card because the printed grid will be distorted or destroyed.
Cards of these prior patents have enjoyed tremendous commercial success and due to this success have been exposed to persons who would choose to tamper with them. With this exposure, artful techniques have been developed where even these cards of these prior patents may have, on occasion, been altered. With the present invention, a construction has been devised where even these artful techniques are ineffective. The present card is so susceptible to detectable changes resulting from attempts to tamper with the card that many prior known card forming techniques are not satisfactory and it is necessary to use novel processing techniques for making the card.
In the preferred construction, a thin paper core sheet is used and a suitable heat softenable resin bonding material is applied to both surfaces of the paper sheet. Identifying indicia is printed on the resin coating and an identifying photograph is adhered to it. This laminated core is then sandwiched between a laminated protective covering consisting of a sheet of Mylar and a resin bonding material of heat softening characteristics identical to the characteristics of the resin bonding material coating the paper core sheet. Where a grid is desired, it is printed on the inner face of this protective covering and oriented over the photograph.
With the resultant card identifying printed photo indicias are suspended in the resin bonding material. Thus, in the finished card, all printed indicia and the photograph are disposed between two layers of thermoplastic bonding material which have been heat bonded together so that the identifying indicias are encased Within the bonding material. Any application of heat or solvent to separate the card causes the resin to flow sufficiently to distort and destroy the grid pattern and the printed identifying indicia.
Since the improved structure is highly susceptible to any heat application in the event of tampering, the successful lamination of an identification card presents a problem. It has been discovered that with carefully controlled temperatures and speeds, it is possible to bond the adjacent bonding layers together through the use of rotary lamination without applying heat to an extent which will cause any flow of the identifying printing or the grid.
The objects of this invention are to provide a novel and improved tamper-proof identification card and a method of making. such a card.
Other objects and a fuller understanding of the invention may be had by referring to the following description and claims taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings.
In the drawings:
FIGURE 1 is a plan view of the identification card of this invention;
FIGURE 2 is an exploded sectional view of the card; and,
FIGURE 3 is a schematic showing of the card making apparatus and process of making cards.
Referring to FIGURES 1 and 2, the card has a central paper core sheet 10. The principal purposes of the central paper core sheet in the present card are to provide a background for the printed indicia and the photograph, and to provide rigidity and body to the card. It will become apparent from the ensuing discussion that the paper core sheet can be eliminated under certain circumstances, but it is preferred that it be present. The paper core sheet 10 is relatively thin paper preferably of about 16 lbs. of weight. The paper is sandwiched between upper and lower inner layers of a resin bonding material 11, 12, preferably polyethylene.
Polyethylene is used herein in a broad sense. It is used in the context of the definition set forth in The Condensed Chemical Dictionary, 6th edition, published 1961 by Reinhold Publishing Corporation, wherein the first paragraph of the definition reads as follows: polyethylene (C H ),,polymerized ethylene, available in various forms, but the white leathery resinous form is by far the most common. Description: In general it is light weight, tasteless, odorless, and nontoxic. The low molecular weight polymers are high grade lubricating oils or oil additives (see A-C polyethylenes). The medium weight polymers are waxy materials miscible with paraffin. The high molecular weight materials (molecular weight greater than 6000) are tough White, leathery, resinous materials. The term polyethylene usually refers to the latter. Copolymers of polyethylene are also widely used and are sometimes referred to as polyethylene even though it may comprise only 50% of the total material.
Identifying indicia is printed on the outer face 13 of the upper inner layer 11. Further, indicia may be printed on outer face 14 of the lower inner layer 12. An identifying photograph 15 will be adhered to the face 13.
The inner layers 11, 12 and the paper core sheet 10 together comprise a core which is encased within a protective envelope or shell. The envelope includes upper and lower outer protective sheets 20, 21. The protective sheets are flexible, transparent, and tear resistant. The preferred material for these protective sheets is polyester film. The polyester film is a polyethylene glycol ester of terephthalic acid. Expressed another way, the polyester film is polymerized polyethylene glycol ester. This material is sold commercially by the Du Pont Company under the trademark Mylar.
Mylar is outstanding for this protective purpose because of its transparency, stability, tremendous tear resistance, high strength, long life, and high degree of imperviousness. It is also outstanding for this purpose because of its tendency to be substantially heat resistant such that if heated to the point where it will flow, the paper core and photograph will tend to become charred. The encompassing envelope formed of these outer protective sheets provides an exterior shell which is extremely smooth. The outer sheets 20, 21 are bonded to the inner layers 11, 12 by upper and lower outer bonding layers 23, 24 respectively. The outer bonding layers 23, 24 should be of a material identical to the inner layers 11, 12 at least insofar as the melting point is concerned.
The surfaces 13, 14 are bonding surfaces as are inner surfaces 26, 27 of outer layers 23, 24. The layers are bonded together at two spaced interfaces located respectively by the surfaces 13, 26 and 14, 27. Thus, when the card is finished and the layers are bonded at the two interfaces, printed and photo indicias are suspended within and encased by the polyethylene material. With the printing so positioned, it is maintained in its indicia providing position by the polyethylene. Any heat applied to heat soften any bonding layer will heat soften all of them and cause the printing to flow. For this reason, it is impossible to delaminate the card to remove the photograph without the printed indicia in the bonding layers flowing. The preferred form of the polyethylene material for this purpose is a copolymer composed of relatively low density polyethylene having a density between 0.910 and 0.929 gram per cubic centimeter with from 3% to 10% by weight acrylic acid added. The polyethylene is unmodified and has a melt index of from 2 to 12. Polyethylene is preferred because it has the characteristics of being thermoplastic, transparent, stable, capable of being heated without noticeable degradation (i.e., inert) and cap-able of forming a bond. The specific copolymer disclosed is preferred because it has been discovered to have outstanding properties for the process disclosed in that it provides superior adhesion.
In the case of the layers 11, 12, the transparency is not essential and it could be colored. If the core polyethylene is colored, a single layer can be substituted for the two layers 11, 12 and the paper core 10. If this paper is eliminated, a relatively high density polyethylene should be used for card rigidity.
In the preferred arrangement, a grid-like pattern 25 is printed on inner face 26 of the upper outer layer 23. This grid pattern 25 is superposed over the photograph 15. It has been found that during the card forming operation of this invention the printing tends to be transferred onto the photograph so that the grid pattern cannot be removed with the bonding layer.
In the manufacture, the core is first formed. One manner of forming the core is to continuously extrude layers of polyethylene on both faces of a web of paper to form a core strip. The core strip thus formed can be severed into individual card cores identified by the numeral 30 in FIGURES 2 and 3. As suggested previously, the cores 30 are each com-posed of the paper core sheet 10 with the covering of polyethylene and printed indicia on the covering.
Upper and lower coils 31 are mounted on suitable mandrels 32. These coils are webs of a Mylar-polyethylene lamination. These webs are fed in strips 33 which form the outer sheets and layers 20, 21, 23, 24. The strips 33 and the cores 30 are fed between a pair of heated rotary laminating rolls 35 which compress the core and strips together heat softening the polyethylene at the same time to effect a bond. The rollers are spring loaded and abutting when the device is not in use. The rollers are heated to about 250 to 325 preferably about 275. The temperature will vary according to the bonding material used and the speed at which the plastic is fed. The rollers are rotated at a speed appropriate to feed the strips 33 and the sandwiched cores at a rate of from about 2 to 4.5 feet per minute and preferably about inches per minute. Where the plastic has been preheated, speeds as high as 30 feet per minute can be obtained. After the cards have been laminated together by passing through the rolls, the cards are separated by suitably cutting the plastic between the spaced cores 30. The finished card has a boundary at 37 where the outer layers are adhered together to surround the core sheet 10.
In FIGURE 2, the dimensions of the sheets and layers, the photograph and the paper core, are all greatly exaggerated. The thickness of the outer layers varies according to the thickness of the Mylar sheets. These layers are preferably about 4 times as thick as the Mylar sheets. The outer protective sheets 20, 21 are from 1 to 3 mils and preferably of about 1 or 2 mil thickness depending on the rigidity required. For example, a typical wallet card will have 1 mil outer sheets while a typical badge will have 2 mil sheets. The relatively heavy Mylar outer sheets provide resistance to tampering, good wear resistance, and a long-lived card.
As noted above, the grid 25 will flow if the card is heated. The grid 25 provides an additional protection. If one seeking to tamper with the card cuts the protective covering around the contour of the photograph and lifts out the photograph, it is substantially impossible to return the photograph to place without the tampering being detected. The grid provides this protection because it is substantially impossible for the tamp-ercr to align a forged grid with the original grid. Moreover, because the grid and other printing are suspended between layers of the polyethylene bonding material, it is not possible to heat adhere a counterfeit photograph in place without causing the printing to flow.
If one attempts to bond a counterfeit photograph in place as by a solvent type adhesive, it is still possible to detect the substituted card because one cannot bond the severed Mylar together. If the severed seam of the Mylar is hidden by solvent adhesive or perhaps an adhesive having a melt index considerably below that of the polyethylene, it is still possible to detect the forgery by flexing the card which causes the Mylar to separate along the cut and expose the cut.
Although the invention has been described in its preferred form with a certain degree of particularity, it is understood that the present disclosure of the preferred form has been made only by way of example and that numerous changes in the details of construction and the combination and arrangement of parts may be restored to without departure from the spirit and the scope of the invention as hereinafter claimed.
1. An identification card comprising:
(a) a core having spaced bonding surfaces, the core including a layer of polyethylene bonding material providing at least one of the core spaced bonding surfaces;
(b) an outer protective laminated envelope presenting an ex.erior surface shell formed of polyethylene glycol ester of terephthalic acid, and of polyethylene outer bonding material bonded to the exterior shell, the outer bonding material having bonding surfaces bonded to the bonding surfaces of said core along spaced interfaces;
(c) identifying indicia applied to the one of the bonding surfaces at an interface of polyethylene; and,
((1) said bonding material of said core and said envelope having substantially identical melt indexes.
2. The core of claim 1 wherein the polyethylene has a melt index of about 2 to about 12.
3. The core of claim 2 wherein the melt index is about 5.
4. The card of claim 1 wherein the polyethylene bonding material is a polyethylene copolymer composed of polyethylene and 3% to 10% .by weight acrylic acid.
5. An identification card comprising:
(a) a core composed of a paper core sheet and first and second inner layers of bonding material adhered to the faces of and substantially covering the core sheet;
(b) a photograph adhered to the first inner bonding layer and identifying indicia on said first layer;
(c) an outer protective envelope composed of first and second outer protective sheets of polyethylene glycol ester of terephthalic acid and first and second outer bonding layers of polyethylene adhering the protective sheets to the inner layers; and,
(d) the polyethylene of said inner and outer layers being of substantially identical chemical composition, and physical properties.
6. The card of claim 5 wherein a printed grid is carried by said envelope and superposed over the photo graph.
7. The card of claim 6 wherein said grid is printed on the inner surface of the first outer bonding layer.
8. The core of claim 5 wherein the polyethylene bonding material is a polyethylene copolymer composed of polyethylene and 3% to 10% by weight acrylic acid.
9. An identification card comprising:
(a) a core having spaced bondable surfaces, the core including a core sheet and a heat softenable core bonding material adhered to the sheet and providing at least one of the spaced bondable surfaces;
(b) an outer protective laminated envelope presenting an exterior surface shell and an outer heat softenable bonding material bonded to the exterior shell, the bonding material having bonding surfaces bonded to the bondable surfaces of said core;
() identifying indicia in the form of printed ink on one of the surfaces at an interface of a bonding surface and a bondable surface defined vby said bonding material; and,
((1) said bonding material of said core and said enve- 6 lope having substantially identical melt indexes. 10. The card of claim 9 wherein the core sheet is coated on both of its faces by said core bonding material.
11. A core for use in forming an identification card with an outer protective laminated envelope presenting an exterior surface shell and heat softenable bonding material to adhere the envelope to the core, said core comprising:
(a) a core sheet of translucent material providing a background for printed indicia and for providing rigidity and body to the core;
(b) first and second layers of polyethylene bonded to the opposite surfaces of said core to provide a protective coating over the core and a bonding material to adhere the core to the protective envelope; and,
(c) printed indicia on at least one of said layers of polyethylene on the outer surface thereof for providing identification information.
12. The core of claim 11 wherein said polyethylene has 20 a melt index of from 2 to 12.
13. The core of claim 11 wherein the polyethylene bonding material is a polyethylene copolymer composed of polyethylene and 3% to by weight acrylic acid.
14. An identification card comprising:
(a) a core;
(b) identification indicia carried on the surface of the core;
(c) said indicia being protected against tampering alteration by a protective laminated envelope presenting an exterior surface shell formed of polyethylene glycol ester of terephthalic acid;
(d) said laminated envelope incorporating bond material which is thermoplastic, stable, inert, and capable of forming a bond bonding said exterior shell to the paper core;
(e) said bond material being a polyethylene copolymer of low density polyethylene having a density of from 0.910 to 0.929 gram per cubic centimeter and from 3% to 10% acrylic acid by weight; and
(f) said bond material being located between said surface shell and said core and tightly adhering the envelope to both faces of said core.
5/1961 Hannon 402.2 10/ 1966 Rudershausen et a1. 402.2
EUGENE R. CAPOZIO, Primaly Examiner.
W. l. CONTRERAS, Assistant Examiner.
US. Cl. X.R.