Shaun Holdom, Global Product Manager, Drytac, explains how new products with antimicrobial technology can help protect surfaces from bacteria, fungi and mould in-between cleaning.
Keeping surfaces clean has never been more important. Doors, keypads, counters, tables – anywhere that people touch – must be cleaned regularly. Now there are some new products available that provide additional protection from within.
These products are imbued with microorganism-fighting technology during the manufacturing process, so it becomes part of the material’s physical structure and will not wash off or wear away. When bacteria contaminate the surface of the film – from human contact, environmental conditions or simply lack of cleaning – this technology helps inhibit bacterial growth. While not a replacement for regular cleaning, the treatment boosts the cleanliness of the surface in-between cleanings.
Antibacterial vs antimicrobial
There are two types of product to choose from: antibacterial and antimicrobial. Antibacterial films will protect only against bacteria, while antimicrobial films are effective against bacteria, plus fungi, including mould, algae and mildew. The different effects depend on the chemistry – typically copper, silver or zinc.
Copper, silver or zinc additives
The ions in copper prevent cell respiration and damage the bacterial cell membrane or viral coat to destroy it. Positively charged silver ions target and kill bacteria, fungi and certain viruses through several different means. Zinc-based additives are broad spectrum antimicrobials, making them effective against many microorganisms including bacteria and fungi. The broader spectrum performance of antimicrobial substances makes them suitable for use in all environments.
Silver based technology can migrate out of the film and may become ineffective over 3-5 years. Zinc based technology is designed to lock into the film and to protect the surface typically up to 15 years.