RFID on Metal: A Few Things You Should Know about RFID and Metal Surfaces

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Mounting or embedding RFID tags on metal is a tricky proposition for the uninformed, and the informed for that matter. Metal surfaces reflect energy emitted from RFID readers and create interference for RFID tag antennas, which means the tag isn’t able to receive power and transmit information; however, specific RFID tags will work around metal surfaces. RFID companies have patented technology that allows RFID to work when attached to metal surfaces and even embedded within metal products. As long as you choose the correct RFID equipment for your situation and application, you won’t need to worry about interference from metal.


Here’s a few tips to help you get started:


1. What industries are using metal mount tags?

RFID on metal tags are perfect for asset and tool tracking in medical devices for healthcare, laptops & servers in IT (information technology), industrial manufacturing, oil & gas pipelines, vehicle tracking identification, and many other industry verticals. With the recent developments in RFID technology, the possible applications of metal mount RFID tags are expansive in scope.


2. What sort of conditions and environments are metal tags suitable for?

Because so many metal surfaces are exposed to harsh conditions, many RFID on-metal tags are specially designed and equipped to withstand harsh conditions. These rugged RFID tags are typically encased within a hard shell and will survive hard impacts, moisture exposure, and extreme temperatures.


3. How can I attach these Read on Metal tags to different metal surfaces?

Since the employment of metal mount RFID tags vary greatly across different industries, manufacturers provide tags suitable for the environments of your applications. Each style of on-metal tag has a unique method of attachment.


Hard Tags


Hard tags give you the greatest variety of options for affixing the tag to a metal surface. For instance, the Confidex Ironside tag can be welded to a surface ensuring a more permanent hold. The Ironside tag, along with most other RFID hard tags, can also be affixed to surfaces with screws, pop rivets, and industrial adhesives.


Embeddable Tags


Other tags like the Xerafy Dash can be embedded within metal objects before and after the point of manufacture, at which point they are sealed with epoxy to provide extra protection. This method of application along with the small size of the tag makes it popular in healthcare and other industries tracking small tools.


Printable & Flexible Tags


If you need printable RFID tags that work with metal, a few manufacturers offer tags that attach directly to metal surfaces with adhesive. Several of these tags feature a paper face, so you can print private logos, product information, or scannable barcodes directly on the label. If you need a paper label RFID tag that can still withstand harsh environments, MetalTag offers flexible RFID tags allowing them to adhere to curved surfaces. Also, Omni-ID offers a line of flexible tags allowing you to adapt your RFID system around your needs.

Last update: Jan 10, 2018

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