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Can you AutoClave RFID tags?

There has been a lot of questions circling around the DIY RFID community regarding sterilization of glass RFID tags. Many people have asked if the tags used by DIYers as implants can be autoclaved. An autoclave is an automated sterilization device that uses steam (heat) and pressure to kill germs.

I’ve always told people you can’t autoclave them because the manufacturer specifications state the tags cannot withstand the temperature… but I’ve never heard of anyone testing it out. I had a surplus of 2mm by 12mm glass EM4102 read only laser etched tags, so I took out 5 of them and sent them through the process.

Keep in mind though, these tags are read only EM4102s that have had their memory blocks laser etched at the factory. There isn’t much to these chips, so the high temperatures didn’t do much (if any) damage. I doubt tags with read/write memory blocks like the HITAG will do as well as these ones did, but there’s only one way to find out. I’ll be doing that test as well as a few others in the coming weeks, so follow me on twitter or add my RSS feed to your favorite feed reader.

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2 Responses to “Can you AutoClave RFID tags?”

  1. roel_v says:

    I’ve had on of the same kind of tags autoclaved about a year ago, but then by the time the implant was going to happen, the girl who was going to do it had some problems and closed down her shop. Ugh, never got my tag back either. Anyway it worked fine after the autoclaving.

  2. Same here, had my implant done a while back, my 3 X 13 tag survived unharmed.

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