One of the most important decisions you can make when designing an encoder is to choose the proper encoder disc material for your project. Material choice has a significant impact on encoder performance. Choose the wrong disc material, and you can end up with misreadings, disc damage, and frustrating errors. Fortunately, our guide will help you discover which material is right for your encoder disc applications. 

Standard Encoder Disc Materials 

Encoder discs are manufactured using one of the following materials: glass, Mylar, or sturdy metals. To choose the ideal encoder disc material, you first need to understand the benefits and drawbacks of each type.

Soda-lime glass

Soda-lime glass offers excellent flatness and rigidity, making it ideal for high-precision projects. However, glass discs are the most expensive to manufacture and are not as easy to install as other material options. For special applications, we also offer borosilicate and quartz substrates.


Aluminum is an excellent choice for encoder applications where environmental factors are extreme.. Resistant to very high heat and humidity, Aluminum is a durable option for reflective mode encoders.


Finally, Mylar is the perfect cost-effective option for prototypes or protected encoder uses. While Mylar discs are easy to install and inexpensive, they can be more susceptible to damage from heat and humidity. So, you should only use Mylar in appropriate applications where those influences are limited. 

Photo Solutions Encoder Disc Material Specifications

At Photo Solutions, we manufacture encoder components from all three materials: glass, Mylar, and aluminum. Each material type has its limitations, so before choosing your material, check the datasheet to ensure it will accommodate specifications such as diameter, temperature, and thickness. 

For more information regarding our encoder disc materials, you can check out our materials page or request a consultation. Our team of experienced engineers can also recommend the best material option for your design.