Magnetic data storage on wear-resistant coatings

Bild 1: Magnetic stripe on cash card stores data as barcode. (Photo: IW)

IW | Similar to traditional magnetic stripe cash cards, future storage of information shall also be possible on wear-resistant coatings. Based on this principle, the aim of the Institute of Materials Science (IW) is to develop a durable alternative to RFID tags and barcodes.

Traditional data collection methods use radio frequency identification tags (RFID tags) or printed barcode labels. The disadvantage is that they do not withstand extreme heat or moisture. In future, data could be stored directly on the component surface: in extremely hard and highly resistant thermally sprayed coatings.

Powder used for thermal spraying often already contains magnetic particles. To verify their suitability for data storage, IW scientists applied coating to aluminium test samples. Tungsten carbide cobalt composite (WCCo) was used as spray powder material: a material utilized in industry for example for coating rollers in paper manufacture.

The WCCo coating was magnetized with permanent magnets and a magnetic pattern (see Figure 2). The researchers verified the result with a magnetic viewer, making the magnetic fields visible to the naked eye (see Figure 3).

by Gian Luigi Angrisani

Image gallery for this article

  • Bild 1: Magnetic stripe on cash card stores data as barcode. (Photo: IW)
  • Bild 2: Data storage with a simple magnetic pattern. (Photo: IW)
  • Bild 3: Der “Magnetic Viewer“ making data code stored in WCCo coating visible. (Photo: IW)
  • Bild 4: 3D presentation visualizing the magnetic pattern. (Photo: IW)
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