FAQ's for SANDS-SECUREĀ® Security Products

What are color shift pigments?

Color Shift Pigments – Inorganic and Organic pigments will shift colors or “flop” when viewed at different angles.  Sands' Color Shift Pigments are thin (5 micron) highly-transparent platelets of a purely organic polymer network with helical, liquid crystalline structure.  This helical structure causes each platelet to behave like a small, selective mirror.  Light falling on the platelets is split into two components: most is transmitted and the other small fraction is reflected.  The wavelength of reflected light changes continuously giving the phenomenon of color transition. 

Sands' Color Shift Pigments are available in the six color transition pairs:
Jade: Color transition from deep gold to dark green
Maple: Color transition from copper-red to forest green
Sapphire: Color transition from royal blue to ultraviolet
Scarabeus: Color transition from emerald green to electric blue
Aquarius: Color transition from turquoise to blue
Titanium: Color transition from gray to blue-greenWhat are color shift pigments?


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What are holograms?

Holograms - Holography is the technique of creating three-dimensional images, using photo-sensitive film exposed to a laser beam that when adequate illumination occurs an integral image of an object is projected in three dimensions.


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What are IR to Visible Fluorescent Compounds?

IR-Visible Pigments – These are Inorganic Pigments that fluoresce a specific color when excited by a 940nm - 980nm laser source.  These pigments can be tuned to fluoresce at a specific detection wavelength.


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What are NIR dyes?

Near Infrared Dyes – Infrared Dyes that are nearly invisible to the naked eye but can be detected by infrared technology.


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What are photochromics?

Photochromic Dyes – Organic Dyes that change from colorless to colored under UV or natural light.  These dyes respond to natural solar radiation or artificial 365nm Black Light.   When UV radiation is applied, the dye becomes excited and the molecular structure is changed allowing a color to appear. When the stimulus (sunlight/UV) is removed, the dye will return to its natural state of rest. Photochromic molecules are not reactive in their crystalline state and need to be dissolved in a solvent or polymer to function.


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What are security fibers and beads?

Security fibers and beads – Small synthetic fibers and plastic spheres that have been treated to fluoresce a variety of colors under UV light. 


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What are thermochromics?

Thermochromic Pigments – Pigments that change from colored to colorless at a pre-determined temperature.  These special effect pigments allow for a visual response to changes in temperature. The pigments are composed of micro capsules that change color reversibly. When the temperature is raised to a specified temperature the pigment goes from colored to colorless. The pigment returns to the original color as it cools down. The particle size of the thermochromic pigment for all products is <6 microns (97%). The color and temperature are selected by the user.


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What are UV to Visible Fluorescent Compounds?

UV  Visible Pigments – Organic Pigments that fluoresce a specific color when excited with a UV light.
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What is Microtaggant Technology?

Microtaggant® Technology – Proprietary Color Coded Layered Particles that are barely visible to the human eye and decoded with the aid of a microscope.  H.W. Sands offers Microtaggant® Technology from Microtrace.  The Microtaggant Identification Particle is a microscopic multi-layer, traceable, anti-counterfeit technology.  Each code is made up of multiple colored layers which form a unique numeric code sequence.  Multiple nano/taggant technologies may be incorporated in the Microtaggants providing multiple levels of security.  The particles are detected and read using inexpensive, handled devices in the field.  Pattern recognition can be utilized to create a unique "fingerprint" on each individual item that cannot be duplicated.


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What is security glitter?

Security glitter - This material is a novel approach to brand protection in that we have placed the Anti-Counterfeiting Measure (ACM) in a surprising place: right on each tiny flake of glitter. Whether it is used in packaging, labeling, or the product itself, glitter draws the eye. The thousands of reflective surfaces that “twinkle” as our position changes provide an energy that cannot be ignored on the market floor. When compared side by side to an item without glitter, the results are unmistakable.

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How are counterfeit goods discovered and how can companies/individuals report counterfeiting?

If you have information about counterfeiting activities or suspicious products, please contact the U.S. Customs hotline at 1-800-ITS-FAKE (1-800-487-3253).

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Attention Government Agencies and Procurement Specialists

H.W. Sands Corp is proud to be a Majority Woman-Owned Small Business, recognized in
markets as an industry leader and a committed Innovative Solutions Provider.