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Fast data capturing with transparent ceramics from CeramTec

Document scans in the highest quality

A scanner glass has to protect more than just the light sources and mirrors in the device. It also has to ensure fast and correct data capturing over a long time period. In cooperation with scanner manufacturer DESKO, CeramTec has succeeded in developing a more robust alternative to conventional scanner glass. The glass plates in DESKO scanners are equipped with the transparent PERLUCOR® ceramics. It resists mechanical and chemical influences without compromises.

Scanners have become standard equipment in the modern world. They capture data faster and more reliably than humans. At airports, at access and security checkpoints or for goods scanning at the point of sale, they have therefore become essential tools. The more frequently a scanner is used, the more important the use of glass covers become which are robust and resistant to all external influences. Resistance to scratching and breaking and the highest possible level of transparency ensure high quality scans. The material used therefore plays a fundamental role.

Mechanical and chemical influences during scanning

Document, fingerprint or barcode scanners are often used in very busy areas. For example at airports: Check-in and boarding processes must function fast and reliably around the clock. As the number of passengers processed increases, so does the requirement for reliable scanners. At the largest German airport in Frankfurt am Main, the data of 60.8 million passengers are scanned each year, while this number increases to 104 million at the world's largest airport in Atlanta/USA.

If boarding passes or passports are not recognised correctly, the complete clearing process is delayed – resulting in certain chaos with such high passenger numbers.

Scanner glass plates therefore have to resist high mechanical stress because hundreds of identification papers are dragged across them every day. Conventional glass can quickly become scratched, for example from the abrasive titanium dioxide in paper. On the other hand, the plates also have to be resistant to chemical influences. The level of transparency additionally influences the scanning process. During image capturing at border controls, for example, inspection images of the passport are captured under different light sources to verify the included safety features. Less transparent materials have a negative impact on the capturing rate, affecting the quality of the scan. This can falsify the end result.

Permanently fast and accurate scanning with PERLUCOR®

Together with DESKO, a renowned German scanner manufacturer, CeramTec has developed a robust solution for protecting the glass plates. A laminate of the transparent high-performance PERLUCOR® ceramics is applied to the glass. With a relative transparency of more than 90 per cent, capturing of the scanning data is ensured without compromises. The material is three to four times stronger and harder than glass. The Mohs’ hardness is 8 to 9 – only surpassed by diamonds or rubies. Thanks to this outstanding hardness and durability, PERLUCOR® permanently protects scanners against mechanical influences or even vandalism. The transparent ceramic material is resistant to industrial acid and lye, regardless of concentration, temperature and duration of exposure. Plates and panes made from or laminated with PERLUCOR® are therefore protected against dulling even in highly frequented areas.

The benefits set out here are also relevant in the manufacturing of displays, e.g. in technical devices such as smartphones or other touchscreens. The excellent properties of PERLUCOR® have proven successful in this field as well.