Innovative film solutions for forgery-proof ID cards, New concept for the efficient production of passports

Covestro´s presence at this year´s TRUSTECH trade fair is much focused on the use of polycarbonate and thermoplastic polyurethane films in security cards and identity documents. This year’s TRUSTECH trade show in Cannes, France, will once again be dedicated to all things related to security cards and identity documents. Covestro develops innovative and ingenious solutions for the card and pass sector that are based on polycarbonate and thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU) films. This year, the company is at booth 043 in the Riviera hall to showcase a brand new concept for the efficient production of passports that boast excellent anti-forgery protection.

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,” explains 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.

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