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Can RFID Be Used for Sandlbasting Applications?
I need a tag that can be used to track metal pipes as they go through the sandblasting and galvanization processes. The temperature would be 600 degrees Celsius (1,112 degrees Fahrenheit) for a duration of one hour. Is there a solution for my needs?
That's a pretty harsh environment for an RFID tag to withstand. To find out if such a tag exists, I reached out to Pat King, the founder of Technologies ROI (TROI), which specializes in ruggedized RFID tags. Pat holds numerous patents and is an expert in this area.
TROI's tags can withstand routine exposure to temperatures of 400 degrees to 475 degrees Fahrenheit (204 degrees to 246 degrees Celsius), because the antennas on its tags are solder-bonded with high-temperature solder. For a tag to withstand even higher temperatures, special packaging is required. (TROI recommends tags encased in rubber for most applications that involve sandblasting, but that would not work at the temperatures involved here.)
"Tags that can withstand 600C are available in two basic varieties: wire dipole tags and ceramic rectangular designs," Pat says. "For this application, I would suggest a Teflon shell (PTFE) for the wire tag, with a silica filling (see our spec sheet for the Super Tag 2 eyelet). An alternative would be a tag packaged in ceramic (see OK-106, OK-17) or our WoW-1 tag, which is packaged in a metal case with a ceramic filling." (For more information on the WoW-1 tag, see Behold the Weldable Metal Tag!).
Pat adds: "Since TROI does not sell directly to customers, I cannot point to a company using our tags in the same application, but I would be glad to work with your reader to provide a workable tag. TROI resellers are listed on our home page."
—Mark Roberti, Editor, RFID Journal
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