Smart cards have precise dimensional requirements
(PRWEB) August 17, 2005
As reaction injection molding (RIM) applications continue to expand worldwide, so do the possible applications for the use of polyurethanes in the manufacturing process.
Billed as Âlimited only by the imaginationÂ RIM techniques are already being used to manufacture molded parts for everything from auto dashboards and steering wheels, to ice chests and sporting goods. Recently, however, a new technique that borrows heavily from RIM industry has emerged. Known as the reaction assisted molding process (RAMP) and based on low pressure and low temperature dispensing of polyurethanes (unlike RIM which is based on high pressure and temperature), the new technique was recently developed and patented by CardXX of Englewood, Colorado.
CardXX is currently utilizing its proprietary RAMP technique to securely integrate a radio frequency identification chip and antennae, an integrated circuit, and other electronic components including batteries into a small form factor smart card, key fob, smart tag, memory cards and other portable electronic devices.
The RAMP technique precisely positions computer chips and electronic components within a mold between two sheets of PVC or polycarbonate film, after which a polyurethane mixture is injected at low temperature and low pressure to completely immerse the electronic element. The electronic element is securely encapsulated and protected when curing is completed in less than an hour.
The development of the RAMP process depended on locating the proper equipment. For this, CardXX utilized existing reaction injection molding techniques, along with customizable dispensing equipment from Gusmer | Decker to accurately dispense the minute quantities of urethane required in most RAMP applications.
ÂWe are primarily using the Gusmer | Decker RIM equipment for this particular application because of its unique ability to deliver very small, gram-level quantities of reaction injection molding material reliably and accurately,Â says Paul Reed, Ph.D., director of business development for CardXX.
Gusmer | Decker, a leader in the reaction injection molding equipment market, develops metering machines and mixing heads for processing multi-component polyurethane and hybrid urethane chemicals. Gusmer | Decker's RimCell Select Series metering and dispensing units are particularly suited for RAMP applications because of their precise mixing heads that yield flow-rates as low as 0.33 lb. per minuteÂnecessary to avoid disrupting the careful placement of electronic components within smart cards.
Gusmer | Decker's RIM molding system allows a variety of shot sizes and fast cycle times while assuring metering accuracy within strict tolerances. Such RIM technology helps polyurethane-product manufacturers avoid waste from overfilling parts. The ability to provide low-temperature delivery, also necessary for RAMP applications, enables high production volumes because of minimized cycle time.
"Smart cards have precise dimensional requirements," says Reed. "Delivering the correct quantity of thermoset polymer to the mold is critical for meeting rigorous form factor requirements and for achieving proper protective encapsulation of the delicate electronics. Our RIM equipment keeps us within tolerances and keeps scrappage from going through the roof."
RAMP technology can be used with PVC, Polycarbonate, Teslin Â (i.e. synthetic paper), and a wide range of other materials for specific properties and applications.
CardXX is now offering its patented RAMP technology through licensing agreement. The reaction injection molding equipment required for applications of RAMP technology will be provided by CardXX and Gusmer | Decker.
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