Coercivity is a measurement of the amount of energy it takes
to change the polarity of a magnetic field. Since information on
magnetic strips is stored as a pattern of positive or negative
magnetic fields, coercivity also becomes a measure of how long
an ID Card’s magnetic stripe can retain the information that has
been encoded within it.
Oersteads (Oe) are the units used to measure coercivity. Low
coercivity is defined as 0-300 Oe. High coercivity is 300-3000
Oe. Hi-Co ID badges are actually encoded at a level of 2750 Oe.
Because it takes a stronger magnet to change its unique
pattern of magnetic fields, information stored within a hi-co
magnetic strip will not be degraded as quickly as information
stored on a low-co magnetic strip.
In other words: hi-co ID cards work longer than lo-co ID
cards. Of course, they also cost more.
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