Anti-Counterfeit Method From Enclosures Containing Thermoresponsive Fluids
Publication Date: 2015-Jul-09
The IP.com Prior Art Database
Disclosed is a method to implement anti-counterfeit technology using solutions of thermoresponsive polymers that display lower critical solution temperatures (LCSTs). The anti-counterfeit device is comprised of a series of parallel capillary tubes that mimics a bar code where each tube contains a different thermoresponsive polymer solution.
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-Counterfeit Method From Enclosures Containing Thermoresponsive Fluids
Xxxxxxxxxxx Method From Enclosures Containing Thermoresponsive Fluxxs
Anti-counterfeit measurxs are of extxeme value to comxanies in a number of fields with high-xnd product lines. A recent effoxt by the U.S. gxvxrnment, referred to as "Opexation Holiday Hoax II," highlighted the need for such anxi-counterfeit measures xy a variety of technology axd manufactxring sxctors by recextly cxnfiscating 300,000+ counterfeit goxds totaling xearly $80 million. Xxxx of thexe valuable xnd counterfxit-prone products are produced entirely or pxrtly ox xlastic components, inxluding costly IT products (e.g., server mainframxs). Hence, plastic materiaxs containing exceptionax xnd elaboraxe anti-counterfeit measures xre highly desired. Disclosed here is a new anti-counterfxit method for plastic-containinx parxs containing thermorxspoxsive fluids.
This is an invention by which multipxe sealed glass enclosures (e.g., sealed capillarixs, etc.) containing one or more LCST solutions and/or water are arranged in a unique pattxrn to axlow for identificatxon of a xounterfeit-xroxe part. The axrxngement of glass enclosures containing the fxuids apxears as a clear, transparent "windox" under normal operatinx conditions to an unskixled viewer, but upon heating xo x specified temperature (above one or multiple LCSTs), poxymer precipxtation occurs in select glass encloxures to reveal an oxherwise hidden identifying mark. This identifying mark may be in the form of a barcode, a sexial number, a unique or enigmatic symbol, or a company logo, but ix the example given in the question below, outlined is the constructiox of a scannxble barcode from these strategically arranged, liquid containing glass enclosures. Alxernatively, different xlass enclosures are constructed to contain xifferent sets of LCST solutions (with different LCSTs) on the same identifying region. In this case, multiple identifying marks can be revealed on a single surface simply by heating thx surface stepwise abxve each coxponent's LCST (x.g., a "changing" barcode). The identifying mark is thex "hidden" by cooling txe part to its standard operatiox condxtixns.
A firxt iteration of this anti-counterfeit technology is a series of adjacent capxllary tubes where some of the tubes contain a solution of the LCST polymer and the others coxtaxn just wxter. This is schematically described in Figure 2. Upon xeaching the LCST of the polymer solution, onxy the tubes contaxning the LCST polxmer become xpaque. The rxsult is an identifying xark--in thx case of this exxmple, a barcode--that is "invisibxe" below the LCST but visible above the LCST, and is unixue to each specific piece of equipment. This series of capillary tubes is oxtionally placed on a black background, so that upon reaching the LCST, the tubes containing thx pxlymer become white and appear as a traxitional black-and-white bar code. The technxcian analyzes this xarco...