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RFID Flex Hard Tags


  • Semi-rigid polyester construction offers increased durability and strength over other RFID tags
  • Optional subsurface printing protects against extreme solvents, caustics, acids, and abrasion.
  • Ideal for high wear applications including returnable pallets, containers, utilities and embedding within injected molded products
  • IP68 Ingress Protection
  • Average read range 22-24 ft.
  • Compatible with RFID Tracking Software

Metalcraft’s RFID Flex Hard Tags are specifically designed for assets that need a rugged, yet flexible, polymer RFID tag that is more cost effective than traditional hard tags and has a reliable, consistent read range performance.

The RFID Flex Hard Tag is made of high performance, pliable polyester that provides more strength and rigidity than a traditional RFID polyester label but is more formable than a metal or hard plastic tag. The RFID Flex Hard Tag is ideal for returnable pallets, plastic crates, containers, utility poles or for embedding in injected molded products.

Along with a read range of 22-24 ft on most applications, the RFID Flex Hard Tag is versatile and durable enough for almost any returnable container or harsh environment RFID tracking project.

What are the different kinds of hard tags?

Hard tags are physical security devices used to deter theft and protect merchandise in retail stores. There are several types of hard tags available, each with its own characteristics and application:

  1. Standard Hard Tags: These are the most common type and consist of a plastic or metal housing that encases an electronic component. Standard tags typically attach to merchandise using a pin or lanyard and are removed at the point of sale with a specialized detacher.
  2. Pencil Tags: Pencil tags are smaller and more discreet than standard tags, resembling the shape of a pencil. They are often used for garments and other merchandise where aesthetics are a concern.
  3. Square Hard Tags: These tags feature a square-shaped housing and are commonly used for larger items or items with more substantial fabric, such as jackets or handbags.
  4. Mini Hard Tags: These tags are smaller versions of standard tags and are suitable for smaller items or items with less fabric. They provide a more inconspicuous security solution while still offering effective protection against theft.
  5. Clamshell Hard Tags: Clamshell tags consist of two halves that snap together around the merchandise, similar to a clamshell. They are often used for items that cannot be pierced with a pin, such as shoes or electronics.
  6. RFID Hard Tags: These tags incorporate RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) technology, allowing for inventory tracking and management in addition to theft deterrence. These tags can be read remotely using RFID readers, providing real-time visibility into merchandise movement.
  7. Ink Tags: Ink tags contain a vial of ink that ruptures if the tag is forcibly removed, staining the merchandise and rendering it unusable. They serve as an additional deterrent to would-be thieves.
  8. Specialty Hard Tags: Specialty tags are designed for specific applications or types of merchandise. For example, there are tags designed for eyewear, jewelry, and other high-value items that require specialized protection.

Overall, the choice of tag depends on factors such as the type of merchandise being protected, aesthetic considerations, and the level of security required. Retailers often use a combination of different types of hard tags to effectively protect their inventory against theft.

What is the difference between a soft tag and a hard tag?

The primary difference between a soft tag and a hard tag lies in their construction and level of security. Soft tags are typically made of flexible materials such as plastic or paper and are attached to merchandise using adhesive or a loop. They are easily removed at the point of sale and are primarily used as a deterrent against theft.

In contrast, hard tags are constructed from rigid materials such as plastic or metal and feature a locking mechanism to secure them to merchandise. Hard tags offer a higher level of security compared to soft tags, as they are more difficult to remove without a specialized detacher. They are commonly used for high-value items or items prone to theft, providing a visible deterrent and helping to protect against shoplifting. Overall, while soft tags offer convenience and flexibility, hard tags provide greater security and protection for retail merchandise.

Specifications Data
Material .002” or .003” polyester for subsurface printing, .007” polyester inlay covering, .007” polyester base. Approximate .020” total product thickness.
Serialization Barcode and human-readable equivalent is produced using the latest high-resolution digital technology available, which provides excellent clarity and easy scanning. Code 39 is the standard symbology with a range of 2.7 to 9.4 CPI.
Label Copy The label copy may include block type, stylized type, logos or other designs. All copy, block type, stylized type, logos, designs, and bar code are subsurface printed. This unique process provides excellent resistance to environmental factors.
Colors Standard colors include black, red, yellow, green or blue. Custom spot colors are also available at no additional charge. Due to contrast needed for the bar code scanner, all bar codes are black.
Standard Adhesive High performance adhesive
Frequency Range 860-960 MHz
Sizes Various sizes available
Packaging Shipped in “work-out- of” cartons for convenient application.
Destructive Test Summary
Pressure Washer Test: Labels were applied to a polypropylene test panel and allowed to wet out for 24 hrs. High pressure washing consisting of spraying room temperature water for 30 seconds. Spray was directed at the edges of the label to force delamination. No delamination occurred, no other defects were observed and the inlay read after exposure.
Destructive Test Data
Chemical Test Summary
Test of label structure and printed image as well as readability of inlay.
Chemical Test Data
Immersion Time 2 Hrs 24Hrs 48 Hrs
DI Water no effect no effect no effect
Salt Water no effect no effect no effect
Bathroom Cleaner no effect no effect no effect
Glass Cleaner no effect no effect no effect
Isopropanol no effect Adhesive Ooze Around Perimeter of Tag Adhesive Ooze Around Perimeter of Tag
Brake Fluid no effect no effect no effect
Acetone Adhesive Ooze Around Perimeter of Tag Adhesive Ooze Around Perimeter of Tag/Tag Delaminated Adhesive Ooze Around Perimeter of Tag/Tag Delaminated/Inlay no read
Diesel Fuel no effect Adhesive Ooze Around Perimeter of Tag Adhesive Ooze Around Perimeter of Tag
Nitric Acid no effect no effect no effect
Hydrocholoric acid no effect no effect no effect
Sodium Hydroxide no effect no effect no effect
Skydrol no effect Adhesive Ooze Around Perimeter of Tag Adhesive Ooze Around Perimeter of Tag
Temperature Test Summary
High Temperature Test: All samples were applied to glass test panels and subject to 10 minutes of cumulative exposure to 150°F, 200°F, 250°F, and 300°F. The results were taken immediately after removal from the oven. No adhesion loss to substrate, warping, or delamination was observed, and all inlays read post-exposure.
Low Temperature Test: All samples were applied to polypropylene and subject to -1.3°F for 24 hours. The results were taken immediately after removal from the freezer. No adhesion loss to the polypropylene was observed, and all inlays read correctly.
Temperature Test Data
Read Range Test Data
Barcode Readability Test Data
Abrasion Test Summary
Samples were tested on the Taber 5130 abrader with CS-10 wheels with a wheel load of 500g each (1000g total). All samples survived 20,000 revolutions.
Abrasion Test Data
Label Adhesion Test Data
Pull Test Data

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