Coating Slays Germs for Years
A new antimicrobial coating reportedly has the power to kill and prevent bacteria and fungi growth for several years, its developers say.
The coating features both silver and copper colloids that gradually release germicidal metal ions, reports the German research team behind the new technology.
The coating technology is recommended for hospitals, kitchens, sanitary facilities and other environments that require hygienic or sterile conditions.
“The new development combines two properties, which means the presence of germs and fungi on these surfaces is zero,” Carsten Becker-Willinger, head of the Nanomers Program Division at the Leibniz-Institut für Neue Materialien, said in a release on the technology.
“The metal colloids are only a few nanometers in size, but their particular ratio of size to surface area produces a distinctive long-term effect.
“The ‘consumption’ of metals to metal ions is then so low that the coating can be effective for several years,” the chemist said.
Other Features, Testing
The coating surface is also anti-adhesive, so neither dead nor fresh germs can adhere to it, the chemists explained. As a result, the coating primarily counteracts the formation of an extensive biofilm, the team said.
Developers say the coating eliminates germs and fungi, making it useful for hospitals, kitchens and other areas that require a clean or sterile environment.
The researchers said they were also able to demonstrate the double microbicidal and biofilm-inhibiting action using the standardized ASTM E2180 test process. That method evaluates the effectiveness of incorporated/bound antimicrobials in hydrophobic materials such as plastics, epoxy resins, and other hard surfaces.
The new material can be applied to plastic, ceramic, metal and other substrates using conventional techniques such as spraying or dipping; the coating cures thermally or photochemically.
Selective variation of the individual components allows the developers to react to the particular and different needs of potential users.
Presentation, Future Projects
The scientists are pursuing other fields of application for copper colloids, copper ions and silver.
The coatings research is part of the EU-sponsored CuVito project.
INM, based in Saarbrücken, Germany, will present the coating technology this week at Eurofinish 2013 in Ghent, Belgium.