MAY WE USE RFID TAGS WITH HIGH TEMPERATURES?
As we already discussed, the business use of RFID technology has grown steadily year over year and has established itself as the most efficient and accurate way to automate data collection, in several different applications.
No surprise if new and bigger challenges arise accordingly: among these, some industries that leverage RFID technology to be more efficient and effective in really harsh environments, the ones with high temperatures and in applications that require prolonged RFID tag exposure to them.
And the answer is YES, this is a challenge we can face: there are several impressive high-temperature tags on the market, BUT there are also some limitations to keep in mind.
WHAT ARE THE MAIN ISSUES OF USING RFID WITH HIGH TEMPERATURES?
First, resistance: a RFID tag usually includes three components: the antenna, the chip and the material that hold the chip and antenna together.
In the case of high-temperature tags, the components need to be encapsulated by thermoplastic, ceramic, or other heat-resistant materials that shield the working components from heat.
Then, vulnerability: the bond between the chip and the antenna can be very fragile and even the strongest epoxies and soldering metals that keep both together will melt if exposed to high temperatures for too long. If the bonding agent is weakened, the chip will separate from the antenna leaving the tag useless.
Also, fixing: in high-temperature applications tags can be attached to the objects that are to track and trace by means of clamps, screws or rivets but often also by means of adhesive and glues. In these cases, better test the attachment methods before, in order to choose the best one for the heat conditions, to ensure survivability.
Finally, don’t forget to check if any content must be left visible on tags or labels since certain materials could darken and become unreadable.
HOW TO IMPLEMENT RFID IN HIGH-TEMPERATURE ENVIRONMENTS?
The first step is to select the best tag for you: there are plenty of high-temperature durable RFID tags or labels and as first you should know the absolute temperature you need a tag to withstand.
For the best choice please consider both the operating and the storage temperature.
Operating temperature is the range of temperatures that an RFID tag can function properly within for the life of the tag.
Storage temperature is the maximum temperature that an RFID tag can withstand without compromising its structure.
By staying under the maximum exposure temperature, the chip should remain in place and the tag materials will remain intact.
But also, time exposure is relevant: most high-temperature tag manufacturers also include indications about time intervals based on their extensive testing, and these can be very helpful according to implementation needs.
Let’s also consider the following two elements:
- In some processes tags will need to cool down, before reading, so take into account this time;
- Check the materials of the assets you wish to track, as well as the materials and other potentially disruptive factors in the application environment.
The second step is to carefully carry out testing: some high-temperature tags can be very expensive, and the elements to check are so many that we strongly suggest to undergo an intensive stress testing process before choosing.
MAIN USE CASES FROM OUR EXPERIENCE
Common applications of this kind of tags include:
- Automotive, where paint processes, post-paint processes or tire production often require very high temperatures;
- Industrial laundries: where hot water wash cycles will need devices with certain waterproof rating and also resistance to extreme heat;
- Medical and health tools sterilization processes;
- Autoclaves usage.
EAGER TO KNOW MORE ABOUT RFID?
Stay tuned on inventag.it and our LinkedIn page.
For any further information our Inventag Team is glad to help:
write us at email@example.com
If you prefer to receive a monthly mail with our most recent RFID pills, just fill the form here below.