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Efficient and sustainable development of antimicrobial masterbatches for plastics industry

Efficient and sustainable development of antimicrobial masterbatches for plastics industry

Silver has been used for centuries for its abilities to aid preservation. Silver antimicrobial technology is safe, natural and sustainable. Prior to the introduction of antibiotics, silver was widely used in hospitals to combat bacteria and today it is used in a wide range of medical products, such as wound dressings and catheters, which have been shown to reduce rates of HCAI. Recent advances in antimicrobial technology allow silver to be added to everyday products at the manufacturing stage. Silver is an ideal antimicrobial agent due to its efficacy or effectiveness against a comprehensive range of microorganisms and its lack of toxicity to non-target cells. Silver antimicrobial technology can be applied to a variety of materials and, therefore, products, without affecting the performance or aesthetics in any way, other than imparting antimicrobial qualities.

Inorganic Silver, in the form of silver ions, is the active ingredient in products that utilize BioCote approved antimicrobial technology. Anti microbial is the term used to describe something that has the ability to resist the growth of microbes- bacteria and moulds. BioCote antimicrobial protection is based on silver ion technology. This technology, in the form of an additive, is incorporated into products at the time of manufacture and then provides continuous built-in antimicrobial protection for the expected lifetime of the product. As per test results on a BioCote® protected product, levels of bacteria are reduced by up to 99% in two hours, compared to an unprotected surface where they can proliferate at dramatic rates. In addition laboratory tests have repeatedly demonstrated the ability of BioCote® protected surfaces to inhibit the growth and formation of moulds and yeast. All BioCote® protected products are regularly validated and quality control tested to ISO 22196:2007 where applicable, in an independent laboratory. Only products that demonstrate over a 95% reduction in bacteria are allowed to use the BioCote brand as a guarantee of superior antimicrobial performance. It is effective against a wide range of microbes, including MRSA, E. coli, Salmonella and the mould, Aspergillus niger. These protected products are cleaner, safer and more hygienic to use, making them ideal for environments where hygiene is important, such as hospitals, care homes, food and catering establishments and other public places e.g washrooms, schools and offices. This antimicrobial technology is also ideal for personal care products, helping to prevent odour-causing bacteria and improve hygiene. A partnership between antimicrobial specialists BioCote and Matrix Plastics has resulted in the efficient and sustainable development of antimicrobial masterbatches for the global plastics industry. The two have joined forces to raise the bar in the plastics industry and produce antimicrobial solutions to combat harmful microbes and reduce the risk of cross contamination.

Schulman, one of the leading global supplier of engineering compounds, masterbatches and specialty powders, is expanding the range of its specialty antibacterial and anti microbial masterbatch solutions to meet a wider variety of application needs in the packaging, consumer products and medical markets. Its Polybatch® ABACT antibacterial masterbatches inhibit the growth of microorganisms that can cause odors, discoloration, the formation of mildew, or deterioration in the physical properties of plastics. Its Polybatch® AMIC antimicrobial masterbatches protect against bacteria and fungus. Utilizing silver ion technologies, they are designed to provide consumers with peace of mind and an added layer of protection. Among the Company's range of solutions are:
• Four grades of standard antibacterial products, some of which have been found to reduce bacteria by more than 99.99%
• New grades of high-performance antibacterials for spunbond nonwoven fabrics and thin layer applications (e.g., biaxially oriented or BOPP film)
• Antimicrobials that have been tested to have a bacteria and fungus survival rate of 0.8% to 0.1% in polyethylene film

SteriTouch® is a range of antimicrobial masterbatches, additives and coatings designed to reduce the growth of harmful organisms such as bacteria, mould and fungi, while remaining safe for even the most sensitive applications. The masterbatch is available for most polymers. It provides excellent antimicrobial performance, has no adverse effect on physical properties and will remain effective for the lifetime of the product. They can be supplied in almost any carrier; the universal masterbatch is suitable for many common polymers, including Acetal, ABS, EVA, Santoprene, polyethylene, polypropylene and polystyrene. For transparent polymers, the company offers a range of masterbatches which preserve clarity without compromising antimicrobial performance. The range includes masterbatches for clear polymers, including polycarbonate, PMMA, SAN and transparent ABS. The clear masterbatches are used in a range of applications, including IR transparent lenses, contact lens cases and washroom dispensers. All the transparent masterbatches are RoHS compliant and safe for food contact uses. The silver ions begin killing bacteria as soon as they are deposited on the surface of a product containing SteriTouch®; tests have demonstrated a reduction of up to 99.99% within 24 hours. The biocide additive will remain effective beyond the useful lifetime of most products; tests have shown the additives to be as effective after 8 years as when first incorporated into the host material. They have exceptionally low toxicity, are non-irritant and non-sensitising.

 
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