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anti-counterfeiting | Technology Right: Microtrace


Microtaggant identification particles measure


between 75 and 150 microns


down side, however, the reader required does not come cheap.


Also available from the company are a variety of


phosphors. Microtrace says it offers multiple levels of phosphors ranging from simple IR to visible responses, through inexpensive yes/no validation to fully optimised taggant and detector systems. Authentication is said to be quick with inexpensive laser pens but, as the company points out, phosphor taggants are widely available and understood so it is possible for them to be copied. Plastics Color Corporation says its MiBatch taggant


additive line offers a new level of customisation and security for customers. Once again, it employs micro- scopic particles or spectral markers that are custom- formulated for a specific product or product line. “The taggants provide either an overt (visible), covert (invisible), or a combination of both elements as an additive masterbatch or they can be supplied as a complete compound,” a company spokesperson says. “Colour-shifting pigments and particles designed to


fluoresce under specific light wavelengths lend an exclusive, distinguished visual property to plastic components. Products such as high-end sunglasses or electronics cases can be given an unrivaled appearance that copycats will find nearly impossible to duplicate. Covert taggants offer an added measure of security to products in the form of a distinct, one-of-a-kind signa- ture. This custom signature can be verified at any point along the supply chain by UV or laser-detection devices, which are offered through Plastics Color’s partners.” The company claims that overt and covert properties can be combined for an enhanced product signature.


Interest on the rise Gabriel-Chemie is a relatively new entrant into the anti-counterfeiting field. Mark Hannah, responsible for marketing, says the group has been experiencing increased interest over the last year or so. “The Gabriel-Chemie solution works on the principle of a ‘Q&A’ methodology,” he says. The system comprises special pigments dispersed in a masterbatch. When mixed into a compound, they


46 COMPOUNDING WORLD | December 2016


respond to an optical sensor via stimulation by defined light spectra. “We add the pigments in the form of a masterbatch, either just dedicated to the anti-counter- feit function or also in combination with other additives and possibly colour too,” he says. Depending on the customer application, this


response behaviour can be designed from a simple binary yes/no right through to a highly complex individual ‘fingerprint.’ The detector, though, must be individually programmed for the specific security pigments used. Gabriel-Chemie also uses different combinations of pigments to increase the security level, Hannah adds. Sensors used in the system are manufactured by a


partner company. They range from simple hand-held mobile detectors that can be used for a yes/no detec- tion, up to complex sensors that are connected to a PC-based statistical analysis software. Polysecure is now well-established in the anti-coun-


terfeiting additives arena and its products are used in plastics and other materials. At the core of its marker technology are crystalline or ceramic powders equipped with diverse security features. Typical is a characteristic fluorescence, which can be measured manually or automated by small optical detectors (Polysecure’s Brandproof series) and visualised by small laser pointers. Alternatively, there can be a numerical product code that is read out with mobile and lab-based x-ray fluorescence spectroscopy (XRF) or inductively- coupled-plasma mass-spectrometry (ICP-MS). A third alternative is a structural random “finger- print” of the marker powder that is almost impossible to be copied and which is correlated with logged samples. The marker powders are said to be chemically quite inert, practically insoluble and temperature stable up to at least 1,000°C. “Beyond protection against counterfeits, Polysecure


markers can also ensure that machines are equipped with original parts and products. Furthermore, the new material markers can help to control recipes and offshore productions,” says CEO Jochen Moesslein.“An important trend in anti-counterfeiting is to lower the


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