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Why do UHF RFID passive tags not always work on metal?
Generally speaking, passive UHF tags are tuned for mounting and use on dielectric material (non-conductive) such as cardboard, non-carbon plastic and general non-metallic surfaces typical in the supply chain industry.
When used on or in proximity of a metal or metallic dielectric equivalent
surface a passive tag will act in one of 3 ways:
• Conducting surface: Placing a dipole RFID tag flush on a metal surface creates an
effective electrical “short”
• Interferer: Certain distances between a metal surface and dipole RFID tag cause a
backscattered signal to scramble rather than reflect (see next item)
• Reinforcer: If the spacing is just right (around ¼” for UHF between tag and metal surface), tag will properly backscatter