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BlogsAsk The Experts ForumWhat Determines the Lifespan of an RFID Tag or Label?

What Determines the Lifespan of an RFID Tag or Label?

Posted By RFID Journal, 11.29.2015

What would the lifespan of a label or tag be after it is applied to a document? Our customer wants to retain its records for at least 25 years, and for the tags or labels to continue working throughout that span of time. Can you please suggest an appropriate tag or label?

—Name withheld


The lifespan of a label or tag depends on many factors. One is whether the documents are going to be handled often and might be bent in a way that would break the connection between the tag antenna and the tag chip. That would render the tag or label inoperable.

Another issue is humidity. Generally speaking, humidity is bad for electronics. It is possible that if the documents are stored in an environment containing a lot of moisture in the air, this could shorten the tag's life. Changes in temperature could also cause issues, but in general, I would say that if the documents are going to be stored in a cool, dry place and handled carefully, the tags should last for 25 years or longer.

On the other hand, I am not sure you will find any RFID tag provider that will guarantee that length of time, since no tag has yet been around for a quarter-century.

—Mark Roberti, Founder and Editor, RFID Journal

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