InfraTrac Introduces IP Protection for Metal 3D Printing with Taggant for Ti64

Posted December 7, 2016

InfraTrac’s proprietary anti-counterfeiting solution shows first success in additive manufacturing with a titanium alloy

Silver Spring, MD – InfraTrac, the Maryland-based developer of intellectual property protection solutions for 3D printed products, demonstrated authentication in Ti6Al4V, a key titanium alloy used in aerospace and defense as well as medical devices.

InfraTrac’s innovative technology infuses 3D printing with a unique chemical fingerprint that can be used to quickly and confidently discriminate between genuine and fake 3D printed products. Previously applied to polymers, this breakthrough brings covert anti-counterfeiting to metal. The aim of the titanium tagging was to show how covert materials-based fingerprinting can be used in metals additive manufacturing, using a Directed Energy Deposition (DED) multi-material metal printer (photo below).

The Ti64 tagging was designed and implemented in collaboration with Dr. Abdalla Nassar, additive manufacturing researcher at the Applied Research Laboratory at Penn State University (ARL Penn State), and Dr. Timothy W. Simpson, Professor of Mechanical & Industrial Engineering and Co-Director of the Center for Innovative Material Processing through Direct Digital Deposition, CIMP-3D at Penn State.

Taggant was detected in blind testing, conducted by researcher Nathan Valentine at the Center for Advanced Life Cycle Engineering (CALCE) at the University of Maryland, College Park, under the direction of Dr. Diganta Das, using x-ray fluorescence spectroscopy. Several metallic test specimens were 3D printed on the Optomec MR-7 laser-based DED system in Penn State’s CIMP-3D using Ti64 and the taggant in different locations in each specimen. CALCE was able to successfully detect the taggant in 100% of the specimens.

“We’re thrilled to move into protection of metals, where applications of additive manufacturing are gaining traction,” said Dr. Sharon Flank, CEO of InfraTrac. “Titanium parts are often critical, and counterfeits can be a major safety threat. Fake parts may be cheaper to produce, but they are not sufficient to meet the demands of these applications and will fail. Now we can make tagging and authentication part of the industrial fabrication process. This is a method sensitive enough to permit double protection, secret taggant in a secret spot.”

3D printing creates three-dimensional objects from a digital design file in an additive, layer-by-layer process. InfraTrac’s IP protection system infuses a unique chemical fingerprint into one of the additive layers laid down during the manufacturing process. This indelible chemical taggant produces a tamper-proof signature that is invisible to the naked eye yet can be detected and authenticated in the 3D printed product at any point in the supply chain with a handheld spectrometer.

About InfraTrac

InfraTrac protects products, using a set of chemical signatures that are cost-effective and easy both to manufacture and detect — but very difficult to spoof. From 3D printing to substances and packaging, our patented technology protects against fakes and mistakes. To learn more go to, or contact:

Jon Schupp
Twitter: @infratrac