I would like to stick RFID tags on uncooked rubber. However, I do not want the labels to come off after the rubber is cooked in the autoclave and washed. Is this possible? What would be your recommendations?
I believe this is possible, but there are many different aspects that I think need to be taken into account.
To what temperature are you heating the rubber? There are off-the-shelf tags that can survive heating up to 225 degrees Celsius (see New Omni-ID Passive UHF Tags Endure 225 Degrees Celsius, for example). Some tags can withstand even higher temperatures, but if you are going to heat the tag at a higher temperature, you will need a specialized tag. You also must consider the tag's size and design. A tag that can withstand 400 degrees Celsius might be too large for your needs, for instance.
Does the tag need to be on or in the final product? If it will be on the outside, then there needs to be a way to prevent it from seeping into the rubber as it is heated and becomes softer.
Does the tag need to be at a certain location or position when you finish the manufacturing process? If so, then there needs to be some way to prevent movement of the tag during manufacturing. This could present some challenges.
What is the value of tagging these items, and will the benefits justify the cost of the tags? Tags that can withstand high heat are more expensive than simple RFID labels. Will the benefits of being able to track the rubber before manufacturing, and the product after manufacturing, offset the cost of the tag? If not, is there another reason, such as regulatory compliance, that might justify the cost of doing this?
My suggestion would be to hire a good systems integrator and have him or her evaluate what you are trying to do, so he or she can recommend a tag that would work best for your needs. If you need help in locating one, please let me know.
—Mark Roberti, Founder and Editor, RFID Journal
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