Forgery-proof film solutions for personal documents and ID cards
The SDW 2017 conference and exhibition at the QEII Centre in Westminster, London, UK, from 26 – 28 June 2017 focused on anti-forgery protection for identity documents. Covestro is developing solutions with films that improve security and enable efficient production of cards. The company presented new and sophisticated products for ID cards.
According to Covestro, its position as a supplier of thermoplastic films for high-value documents derives primarily from the fact that the company continuously responds to the latest trends in this innovative sector. To meet the many different demands of card manufacturers, the company has developed a range of polycarbonate films under the Makrofol and Bayfol brands and the Platilon ID range of thermoplastic polyurethane films (TPU).
“Multi-layer TPU films and combinations with polycarbonate films for applications where excellent mechanical strength and durability are crucial are new to our portfolio,” said Georgios Tziovaras, applications engineer in special films at Covestro. One example is the thin fold of passports, which consists of a Platilon ID composite film and is laminated inside onto the data page. The production process is highly efficient and the composite is also long-lasting. Documents can be opened and closed again any number of times without affecting flexibility or tearing at the fold.
As the TPU films soften at temperatures similar to or higher than corresponding polycarbonate Makrofol ID products from which the data pages are made, they cannot be separated from each other again without damage being caused. “As a result, they can’t be used to manufacture new ID cards and thus offer excellent anti-forgery protection,” said Tziovaras.
Further security features can be integrated
On request, Platilon ID products can also be equipped with laser-reactive properties to integrate further security features into the fold. As with the polycarbonate data pages, it can also be personalized using standard laser engraving equipment.
The thickness of the layers in the composite films, which is thinner than for individual films, also enables greater design freedom. The data page can thus also be made thinner, while nonetheless offering high strength and flexibility. This simplifies the integration of security features, and the thinner data page also saves money.
Contrast-rich and secure personalisation
For the data page, Covestro also showcased the Makrofol ID Superlaser polycarbonate film at SDW 2017. In ID documents made using this product, the holder’s data and photo can be laser-engraved in higher contrast than is possible for standard laser-reactive overlay films. The data are also integrated into the core, with the result that the film also offers enhanced anti-forgery protection.
Personalisation is faster and more cost-effective than the conventional production. The development of this film and the patent-protected Superlaser technology is Covestro’s response to the latest trends on the security document market.
Ultra-thin film makes chip invisible
Other innovations include extremely thin white polycarbonate films in the Makrofol ID range. Thanks to their high opacity, they ensure the underlying chip cannot be seen following lamination. The thin layer of just 30/50 micrometers also offers more freedom to incorporate additional layers in the card.