Methods for Identifying Counterfeit Parts by Pressure-Induced Fluorescence
Publication Date: 2015-Apr-20
The IP.com Prior Art Database
Disclosed is a method to prevent counterfeiting of plastic-containing parts using fluorescent mechanosensor polymers. These disclosed polymers fluoresce in response to applied pressure.
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Methods for Identifying Counterfeit Parts by Pressure -
Anti-counterfeit measures are of extreme value to other companies in a number of fields with high-end product lines. A recent effort by the U.S. government, referred to as "Operation Holiday Hoax II," highlighted the need for such anti-counterfeit measures by a variety of technology and manufacturing sectors by recently confiscating 300,000+ counterfeit goods totaling nearly $80 million. Many of these valuable and counterfeit-prone products are produced entirely or partly of plastic components, with an exemplary case being a growing trend towards use of polymer banknotes, which are currently being introduced into various economies in the world. Hence, plastic materials containing exceptional and elaborate anti-counterfeit measures are highly desired. Here is disclosed a new anti-counterfeit method for plastic-containing parts with fluorescent mechanosensors, i.e., materials that fluoresce in response to pressure.
Devices prone to counterfeit (ranging from "polymer" dollar bills to hardware, etc.) are manufactured containing spiropyran-linked polymers. Such polymers are known in the prior art to fluoresce under compressive stress. For product verification, compressive stress is applied to regions of the part containing spiropyran-based polymers to reveal the fluorescent, identifying mark. For further verification, a fluorescence meter is used to link the extent of fluorescence to the compressive stress via mathematical relationships between the two variables. Fluorescence dissipates under ambient conditions over time, allowing for future pressure-induced verification.
Spiropyran-linked polymers, such as the one shown in Figure 1 below, fluoresce in response to stress. Equipment with polymeric components known to be susceptible to counterfeiting is manufactured to contain these polymers. In one iterati...