Researchers Create Self-Cleaning, Magnetic Paint


A student from Gdansk University of Technology in Poland recently developed a new hybrid paint that is not only magnetic, but can reportedly fight bacteria, remove stains and clean the air of harmful components. The material is anticipated to be effective for use in hospitals, health centers and schools.

The paint was created by Izabela Malinowska, a doctoral student from the Department of Process Engineering and Chemical Technology at the Faculty of Chemistry, under the supervision of professor Anna Zielinska-Jurek.

About the Coating

Zielinska-Jurek said that currently, there is no product on the market that has the three properties of the paint—self-cleaning, biocidal and magnetic—at the same time. Researchers developed a finish product in various shades of brown, first applying the coatings in 2018 on drywall, and the properties have reportedly not changed so far.

According to the university’s release, the self-cleaning effect of the paint is triggered when it comes in contact with pollution. The photocatalytic additive present in the paint breaks down dirt, greasy contaminants and destroys pathogens, as well as cleans the air of volatile organic pollutants or harmful nitrogen oxides.

Zinc compounds in the composite structure create a strong biological barrier that prevents pathogens from developing on the surface, and bacteria strains were shown to be destroyed in a short time during testing. Malinowska said research was conducted on strains of gram-positive bacteria such as Staphylococcus aureus and gram-negative bacteria like Escherichia coli.

Artificial lighting is reportedly sufficient to activate the self-cleaning properties, with biological protection remaining active even when the light is turned off.

“Meanwhile, most products currently available on the market contain titanium dioxide, which is active only under the influence of ultraviolet radiation, while solar radiation and indoor lighting are only slightly able to activate these functionalities,” said Zielinska-Jurek.

The new paint can be used on various surfaces, including walls, wood, metal and plastics. The composite can reportedly be added at any stage of paint production and does not change the original properties of the paint and finish coat.

Additionally, the paint can act as a magnetic board due to its magnetic properties. The researchers also developed a finish coat as a complementary material to the paint.

“Covering the wall with finish coat and paint will create a biological protection securing the building against the development of pathogenic microorganisms, protecting the health of the residents,” wrote the authors.

Designed to help increase the functionality of coatings in public buildings, the paint is anticipated to be useful in spaces such as hospitals, health clinics, schools, conference rooms, playrooms and restaurants. Malinowska added that it could be used on handles or elevator buttons as well.

The university notes that the paint is safe for the environment, in which the applied biological compound naturally occurs in the environment. 


Tagged categories: Asia Pacific; Biocides; Coating Materials; Coating Materials - Commercial; Coatings; Coatings Technology; Coatings technology; Coatings Technology; Colleges and Universities; EMEA (Europe, Middle East and Africa); Good Technical Practice; Health and safety; Latin America; North America; Paint; Research and development; Self-cleaning coatings; Z-Continents

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