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Northwestern University
Smart students – smart cards

"Students at Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois don’t carry simple IDs. They carry smart cards - plastic cards that let them obtain cash at ATMs; pay for food on campus; use college copiers or laundry facilities; gain access to buildings and more.

Needless to say, the magnetic strip on the cards contains a lot of information. So once the University Services WildCARD Department inputs this data on all 17,000 student cards, the last thing it wants to do is have to input it all over again. But that was the daunting prospect they faced every year - until Northwestern switched to Card Sleeves of DuPont™ Tyvek®.

"We’ve been using Tyvek® Card Sleeves for the past six or seven years," said Ellen Barnes, the department assistant for University Services. "They’re lightweight, they can fit into a wallet easily and they protect the magnetic strip from getting damaged." They’re also eye-catching - with color images of Northwestern’s Wildcat mascot and the university’s logo.

"Magnetic strip failure used to be a real problem. Now, we only have a fraction of the number of people bringing us their cards to have them redone, because we have switched from a low- to a high-corsivity strip."

Barnes’ department uses other types of Tyvek® envelopes, too. "I use Tyvek® envelopes with the bubble lining for mailing computer discs," Barnes said. "I like the fact that nobody knows what’s inside the package like they did when I used cardboard and the bubbles protect the discs better than plain cardboard. Plus, Tyvek® protects against tears, bursts and punctures; something cardboard can’t do."

For mailing larger items, Barnes prefers Tyvek® Expansion envelopes. "When I send out a binder or something bulky, these Tyvek® envelopes have gussets that help make it easier to put the items inside. Kraft envelopes don’t have gussets," Barnes explained.

And weight isn’t a problem with Tyvek® envelopes. According to Barnes, "Manila envelopes can tear when you mail something heavy, but with Tyvek® envelopes, I don’t have to worry about things falling out of the package or winding up in a bag at the post office."