Use NFC Sticker Tag On Metal Surface

How To Use Standard NFC Sticker Tag On Metal Surface

Standard NFC tags fail to read when you put them on a metal surfaces. Here we show how you use NFC Sticker Tag On Metal Surfaces.
A typical RFID-NFC tag or inlay you use, will read with any NFC reader when placed on non-metallic surfaces. You put the tag on stone, wood, glass, plastic, paper, or hold it in the air, and it works fine.

Why Do RFID-NFC Tags Not Work On Metal?

Here is a typical round 8mm adhesive sticker tag that will read with any NFC reader.

tiny 8mm on metal RFID-NFC adhesive tag


Put the NFC tag on metal and it fails to read.
Buy NFC tags to read on metal, these are commonly called ‘anti-metal’ tags.
Contact a solution specialist to Discuss your on-metal NFC-RFID tag solution needs 

Below you see the manufacture of NFC tags is done in layers:

  • First layer is ‘substrate’, on the substrate a antenna and NFC chip are bonded, this is called the ‘inlay’.
  • The inlay is typically covered with paper or waterproof plastic based material like PET (Polyethylenetherephtalate).
  • This combination is called a ‘dry inlay’.
  • When an adhesive layer is applied to the bottom of the ‘dry inlay’ (or in place of the substrate cover) it becomes a ‘wet inlay’.
  • NFC tags manufactured in rolls also have a ‘release liner’ below the adhesive layer.

How On-Metal RFID-NFC Tags Work

Making an on metal (anti-metal) tag from a standard tag you add a barrier (or wide separation) between the metal and the inlay.

You put an electrically nonconductive barrier between the metal and the inlay. Now the NFC tag or inlay works on a metal surface

The material commonly used behind a wireless charging power coil can be used as the barrier to allow an NFC tag to be read on metal. This material presents a ferrite barrier sheet EMI anti-interference shield.

First use a wet inlay, and peel the adhesive cover from the tag.

How To Use Standard NFC Sticker Tag On Metal Surface


Second, stick it on the anti-metal barrier material.

Add ferrite barrier to NFC Sticker Tag for On Metal use

Third, limit surface size, trim the ferrite barrier material to fit the NFC tag.

Use NFC Sticker Tag for metal valve identification

Finally, the anti-metal ferrite material barrier has an adhesive layer (in this example). Remove the adhesive cover as shown above, then place the now ‘on-metal ‘tag on the metal surface.

iPhone Android NFC Sticker metal valve inspections

See the NFC tag mounted on metal water valve for inspection and reference information.

Android iPhone NFC tags for metal valve inspections

The NFC sticker tag attached to the metal water valve handle, out of sight, yet still available for reading with NFC reader for inspection & reference.

Now, if this is all too much trouble for you, simply buy on-metal tags ready to go.