Design & Manufacture
Huntsman – Smart electronics industry adhesives bond intelligent RFID chipsJun 28 2007 - Design & Manufacture [More Design & Manufacture Articles]
Two specialist Araldite adhesives for use in the electronics industry, which are resistant to water, heat and cleaning chemicals, have been created by Huntsman Advanced Materials. The adhesives were developed for TAGSYS, a global supplier of item-level radio Frequency Identification (RFID) tags and readers.
Araldite XD 4477-1 and Araldite XB5304 were created to specifically bond together the plastic components of TAGSYS’ small and rigid Ario SL tags and give each chip an extra layer of protection so that their performance is optimised at all times. The RFID tags are subsequently being used in innovative traceability applications such as professional garment rental, maintenance and management by industrial laundries.
RFID tags are revolutionising the identification and management of objects in a wide range of industries. Although most commonly employed for access control and in intelligent transport systems, their use is rapidly diversifying into other commercial sectors. RFID tags can help track and trace goods along the supply chain in a vast array of applications. Compared to barcode labels, they help cut manual handling costs by automating sorting processes and improving the flow and accuracy of electronic information relating to the lifecycle and maintenance of products.
To date, TAGSYS has manufactured several million RFID tags using Araldite adhesives. TAGSYS’ RFID tags, made using Araldite XD 4477-1 and Araldite XB5304, are being used at several industrial laundries, including in hospitals to help manage the uniforms of doctors and nurses. The RFID tag is patched onto the garment and can contain information such as the wearer’s name, the hospital and department they work in, the size of the garment and the number of times it has been cleaned. The use of RFID tags in this particular application significantly reduces the number of man hours required to sort clothing by hand, helps control theft and can improve overall laundry service productivity by 10 per cent.
Because the RFID tags are washed with the garment, the integrity of the component is dependent on the performance of the adhesive that bonds it together and its ability to withstand temperature extremes ranging from -40C to 150C. Araldite was the perfect solution, providing the required levels of resistance needed.
Pierre Garnier, industrialisation tag engineer at TAGSYS, said: “When our development team realised they needed to specify an adhesive that could perform under particularly harsh conditions, we knew our best option was to turn to the team at Huntsman. Having an adhesive partner that understands the market we operate in and the conditions under which our technology must work is invaluable. From the outset, the Araldite® team had the technical knowledge to understand our requirements and the industry expertise to create a bespoke, tailor made solution for this unique application area. We have forged a productive working relationship with Huntsman and look forward to collaborating with the company again on future RFID projects.”
Denis Lucine, sales representative for Araldite in France, said: “RFID technology is having an enormous impact on a variety of different business areas. Its importance is plain to see and it is clear that this is a key new growth area to watch in the future. Getting involved with this exciting sector of industry and working alongside TAGSYS has provided the Araldite team with a new and exciting development opportunity and the chance to demonstrate the versatility of our products. We are always pleased to create bespoke Araldite® solutions for customers and are pleased that our products are being used to such great effect by TAGSYS.”
To help TAGSYS, the adhesive R&D team at Huntsman moved the adhesive from being a three-component system to a two-component solution. Araldite XD 4477-1 and Araldite XB5304 are two-component, polyurethane-based adhesives. The products are white, cure quickly and provide ‘excellent’ levels of adhesion when used on plastic substrates, says the company.More news from Huntsman