Production starts with the data page. Covestro has developed the polycarbonate film Makrofol ID for this purpose. The film is heat-resistant and tough yet elastic over a broad temperature range.
Robust inner workings
A thin hinge is laminated into the inlay to ensure it is held securely in the passport. It is made from a multilayer composite film of the TPU film Platilon ID9122. The production process is highly efficient and the composite is also long-lasting. Passports can be opened and closed any number of times without affecting flexibility or tearing at the hinge. The composite film can also be stitched into the passport.
The thickness of the layers in the composite films, which is thinner than for individual films, also enables greater design freedom. “This means the data page can be made thinner without sacrificing its excellent strength and flexibility,” said Cengiz Yesildag, Global Segment Head ID/Security at Covestro. “This simplifies the integration of security features, and the thinner data page also saves money.”
As the TPU films soften at temperatures similar to or higher than the Makrofol ID products in the data page, they cannot be separated from each other again without being destroyed. As a result, they can’t be used to manufacture new ID cards and thus offer excellent anti-forgery protection. In October, Covestro was awarded the Blue Shield Innovation Award for this development at the SDS Security trade fair in Beijing.
Integrating additional security features
Another security feature of the inlay is that it carries a chip and antenna. Covestro has extended its Makrofol ID range with especially thin, white films for this purpose. Thanks to their excellent opacity, they ensure the chip and antenna cannot be seen. The thin layer of just 30 or 50 micrometers also offers more opportunities to incorporate additional layers in the card.
Covestro is exhibiting the polycarbonate film Makrofol ID Superlaser at TRUSTECH, too. In data pages 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, such that the film also offers better anti-forgery protection.
Trend: rapid personalization using Superlaser
The development of this special film and the patent-protected Superlaser technology is Covestro’s response to the latest trends on the security document market. Besides offering anti-forgery protection, they are also a much faster and cheaper means of personalizing identity documents compared with conventional production techniques.