Would it be possible to read an RFID chip when a panel was on a building, if the tag were either stuck to the edge of the panel, hidden when pushed up against another panel (i.e. edge to edge) or inside the panel (i.e. injected into the PIR mixture)? Could we read the RFID chip with a metal sheet in front of it?
Inserting the transponder into a panel made of polyisocyanurate (PIR) would be quite simple. You could mix transponders with protective housings into the PIR, or insert them after the foam has cured. The problem would not be inserting the tags, but rather reading them. PIR panels typically have a metal sheet on both sides. You cannot read RFID tags through metal—the RF energy would simply bounce off.
If you want to merely track the panels in inventory, you could insert the transponders into the exposed foam edge once the panels were completed. I do not know the dielectric constant of PIR, but I believe the material is RF-friendly. The tags would be easy to read. If you wish to interrogate the transponder after the panel has been used to construct a wall or roof, you would need to put an on-metal tag on the outside of the panel.
—Mark Roberti, Founder and Editor, RFID Journal
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