Covestro presents film solutions for forgery-proof ID documents
At the Trustech 2018 trade fair, Covestro highlighted an integrated passport concept comprising innovative technologies based on speciality films. According to the company, they offer improved properties for security card manufacturing and in particular enable new applications against counterfeit attempts. Major features are a new concept for clear window technology and a new generation of thermoplastic polyurethanes (TPU) for passport hinges.
At the trade show, Covestro presented the clear windows concept as an additional security feature against counterfeiting attempts. For the manufacture of ID cards it is essential that the card construction has a flat surface without irregularities. The company developed a very thin film with very high opacity which is particularly suitable for the seamless integration of clear window applications. Covestro said the film solution enables a new production method which does not require filling a punched window inside a polycarbonate card or passport data page with additional material. During the lamination process, the transparent layers merge and the thin hole is filled without any irregularities on the document’s surface. This construction offers more space for transparent layers and for the integration of additional security features. Complex window geometries are also possible. The thinner opaque films also simplify the lamination process and reduce the cycle time as well as the visibility of integrated antennas and chips.
In conventional manufacturing, die-cut windows are filled with a transparent polycarbonate film of the type Makrofol ID. This is punched out of small film strips in order to reduce material waste, and processed on automated card production lines. “We are very proud to offer our customers solutions for reducing complexity in their production processes,” explained Cengiz Yesildag, Global Segment Head ID/Security at Covestro. “Makrofol ID thin white high opaque films combine the advantages of easier construction of clear windows in security documents with shorter lamination cycles, a clear win-win situation for our customers.”
For the opaque films, Covestro has received the Blue Shield Innovation Award at the Security Document Summit in China on 17 October 2018 – in total for the fifth time in a row.
TPU films for robust passport hinges
Another Covestro development affects the interior design of passports. The data page is laminated onto a thin fold that is integrated into the passport for a secure fit. The production process is very efficient and the bond is also durable: the passports can be opened and closed as often as required without the flexibility suffering or the fold tearing.
The fold consists of a multi-layer film composite made of thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU). At the trade show, Covestro presented a new Platilon ID film, which is said to offer a further 35 % increase in tear resistance compared to the standard product Platilon ID 9122. Compared to individual films, the layers in the film composite have lower layer thicknesses and thus allow greater design freedom, especially for the thinner data page. As a result, the integration of safety features is simplified and the lower layer thickness saves costs. According to Covestro, multi-layer Platilon ID can be excellently bonded with polycarbonate and ensures that data pages cannot be delaminated without destroying the passport completely.
Furthermore, Covestro has developed Makrofol ID superlaser polycarbonate film for particularly forgery-proof security cards. The composite of three layers is extremely sensitive to laser radiation. Laser engraving therefore requires less energy than conventional laser-sensitive films and saves at least 20 % time during production, said the company. At the same time, maximum contrast can be achieved – even at very low layer thicknesses: 50 % of the data content of a personal photograph is already contained in a layer only 10 µm thick.
Markus Mingenbach, head of the Specialty Films business of Covestro in the Asia Pacific region, introduced the company´s new passport concept at Trustech´s Innovation Stage. He presented the new films for clear window technology and passport hinges and also informed the audience about improved properties of Makrofol ID superlaser films.