Functional Coatings for Enhanced Tamper Indication


Reference #:  00973


Laser surface authentication (LSA) is a key process in seal verification and allows for unique identification of inorganic objects, much like a fingerprint. Therefore, it is imperative that all materials, surface preparations and potential coatings being developed are compatible with this technique. Like a fingerprint, one potential concern a mold or copy of the intrinsic surface features could be made to reproduce a counterfeit. Novel material coatings and coating combinations will enable the fabrication of low-cost, tamper indication devices. The subject invention describes a protective layer applied to the surface of the material to prevent such a scenario.

Invention Description:

This invention is a unique combination of safeguarding structures consisting of (1) a sealant made from ceramic materials, (2) fluorescent dopants dispersed throughout the initial coating and any additional layers, and (3) a transparent coating used to measure changes in conductivity. Together, this apparatus would protect any underlying features from as well detect surface modifications resulting from tampering.

Advantages and Benefits:

The current generation of tamper indication seals is based on metal materials. However, the subject invention uses ceramics as the seal body which is more compatible with LSA and the variety of security coatings mentioned in the invention description.

The current state-of-the-art functional coatings for tamper indication rely on measurements of changes in optical and/or electrical properties of the coating/material interface such as fluorescence due to tampering induced effects.

Potential Applications:

This invention has commercial potential in domestic  and international ) safeguarding efforts. In particular, such innovation would improve the timeliness of detection and confidence in seal and container verification. Companies fabricating and distributing tamper indication devices would also find this technology valuable.

Patent Information:
For Information, Contact:
Technology Commercialization
University of South Carolina
Krishna Mandal
Adrian Mendez Torres
Kyle Brinkman
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