As widespread as it is, RFID technology is not immune to everything. For example, implementing an RFID tag on a metal surface can be tricky. When mounted on metal objects, tags face issues like disruptions, detuning or becoming unreadable.
There is a simple solution for this problem, but before we venture into that, let's first discuss why this problem arises.
Why Does RFID Face Problems with Metal Surfaces?
RFID technology uses radio signals to transmit data wirelessly between an RFID Tag & RFID reader. The tags contain an RFID chip inside them surrounded by a small antenna. The chip is capable of storing a limited amount of data. Once the tag enters the electromagnetic field/reading range of a reader, the antenna on the tag starts to broadcast a signal. This signal is then picked up by the reader & converted into readable information. This is the basic principle of RFID technology.
The problem with metal surfaces is that it causes disruptions in this process. When a metal surface enters an electromagnetic field, it is induced with eddy currents. These eddy currents interfere with the radio waves sent out by the tag and reader, causing issues like disruptions or detuning. Alternatively, metal also absorbs & reflects radio waves, which can also result in the tag becoming unreadable.
How to Correctly Implement RFID on Metal Surfaces?
There is a simple solution to overcome the problems of mounting an RFID tag on a metal surface. All we have to do is prevent direct contact between the tag and the metal surface.
Implement UHF RFID Mount On-Metal Tags
You can use UHF RFID Mount On-Metal Tags to counter this problem. these tags are specially designed to provide a safe barrier between the RFID chip and the metal surface. They come in different shapes & sizes, to accommodate a variety of surfaces & products.
Mount RFID Systems Operating on Low-Frequency
Use Low-Frequency RFID tags can also counter this problem. Since the surface needs high-frequency radio waves to induce eddy currents, tags that operate in low-frequency are immune to this problem.
How Do Metal RFID Tags Work?
Mount On-Metal RFID Tags work by creating a barrier between the metal surface of the item & the RFID chip & antenna. They also come with a variety of mounting methods to allow them to be compatible with different types of items.
There are some additional advantages of using these RFID tags, in addition to being immune to interference:
Resistance to High-Temperatures
Since these tags are often implemented in extreme environments like automobile manufacturing, they are made to resist the effects of high temperatures.
Immune to Corrosion
These tags are sealed inside a protective outer shell, that provides them with protection against corrosive chemicals & elements.
Due to the nature of their use, these tags are made to resist physical damage and last a long time.
A mount on-metal RFID tag has operated in environments which cause lots of disruption in signals. So, they need to have very good readability to perform optimally.
How to Apply Tags on Metal Surfaces
Mount on-metal RFID Tags come with a variety of attachment methods. Depending on the type of surface it's made for, you can mount it using:
Frequently Asked Questions:
Q1. Do RFID tags work on metal?
Ans: A standard RFID tag may face issues like detuning and disruptions while mounted on a metal surface. However, there are specially made mount on-metal tags that are immune to these issues. Alternatively, you can use low-frequency tags on metal objects and surfaces.
Q2. Will a magnet stop RFID?
Ans: No, RFID tags can operate inside a magnetic field without any interference.
Q3. What materials can RFID read through?
Ans: RFID technology works by broadcasting & receiving radio signals. So, you can use RFID through any material that does not absorb or reflect radio waves. For example, Plastic, Composites, Cardboard, etc.
Q4. What is the maximum distance of RFID?
Ans: The readable distance of an RFID system can differ for the type of tags (active & passive) and their operational frequency. Passive tags have a maximum range of 12 meters (40 feet), and active tags can have a range of more than 100 meters (347 feet).