The holographic structure on the frisbee glistens colorfully. It is unique to this batch and makes the product forgery-proof. Explosives are used to emboss the original pattern into the injection moulding tool. This method can be used to give copy protection to industrial goods, and also mass-produced goods such as DVDs or medical pills and tablets. The patented technology was developed by Günter Helferich of the Fraunhofer Institute for Chemical Technology ICT in Pfinztal. He will receive one of the 2009 Joseph von Fraunhofer prizes for developing an explosive embossing method for the holographic nano-structuring of steel surfaces, as a protection against plagiarism. The necessity for this is obvious – forged products account for approximately 10 per cent of total world trade volume. This not only destroys jobs – approximately 70,000 per year in Germany, according to the German Chamber of Industry and Commerce – but is also relevant to the question of product liability.
Explosive embossing makes it possible to imprint structures directly onto metal surfaces. This method can even be used to transfer the structures of soft holographic embossing templates – nickel shims – into mould inserts for injection moulding. Moulds structured in this way enable plastic products to be produced for the mass market with a clearly visible hologram as a copy protection. This can be done during the production process of the original and without an additional production step. All components can be clearly identified by the 'fingerprint' moulded into the plastic. In addition, the use of conventional galvanic baths or etching baths can be reduced.