- Chemicals: Designing the optimal RFID tag with the right materials, coatings, and adhesives is critical for deploying tags in environments involving chemical exposure. And it’s imperative that your RFID tags can withstand individual chemicals, as well as possible chemical combinations, whether just a splash or completely submerged. When using RFID tags for medical instruments, as an example, it’s also critical to consider biohazards and other contaminants.
- High-Impact: RFID tags need to be able to handle real situations and extreme conditions since they might be repeatedly compressed, crushed, and torqued during use. They need to be strong enough to withstand being used in drilling pipes, shipping containers, operators, or other heavy objects. In a warehouse or near industrial machinery, tags may need to handle intense friction or pressure.
- Inflammable Materials: Ask for certification, compliance materials, and test data to use RFID tags around explosives. Other tags also need to withstand electric charges. This is vital, as workers cannot always track every RFID tag all the time.
- Temperature: Some industries use RFID tags to lay pipelines and other internal structures. These tags can withstand temperatures from well below freezing to several hundred degrees. Some RFID tags have a special sealant that makes them resistant to severe temperatures.
Designing RFID Solutions for Extreme Conditions
RFID tags can help you identify and locate thousands of assets, even across a large area, so you can more effectively manage your operations for compliance, forecasting, and inventory tracking. However, to keep track of that many RFID tags, or to even locate one, you’ll need to ensure your tags can handle specific physical conditions, such as below zero temperatures or extreme heat, exposure to seawater or direct sunlight, challenging terrain, or physical obstructions, or other factors. Construction, landscaping, and other industries often use RFID tags in harsh weather conditions for tracking equipment. These tags are exposed to sunlight, friction, high impact, and water regularly. Artificial stresses affect the reliability of an RFID tag during its use as well. These stresses include exposure to erosive chemicals, explosives, friction, high-impact, etc. For instance, RFID tags are often applied on the automotive assembly line while the paint is baked on each car and used on tools or other items exposed to harsh chemicals, like bleach, when cleaned or used. As mentioned, due to their numerous different applications, RFID tags may deal with various types of conditions during their entire lifetime, and some of these conditions often occur concurrently. Different tests can be used to study the effects of specific conditions and the combinations of different stresses on the reliability of each tag. Strenuous testing is crucial to ensure RFID tags operate as they should since they may also endanger people if they’re not properly used. Especially when explosives or inflammable materials are involved, RFID tags need to be certified: ATEX, C1D1, C1D2, and IECEx. RFID Harsh Environment Tags While every RFID solution is unique and involves specific requirements, here are a few guidelines for designing or selecting tags for applications in extreme conditions: