Antimicrobial Solutions for Plastic Articles

AntimicrobialUntreated plastic articles can be attacked by microbic growth causing unsightly discoloration, unpleasant odors, and polymer degradation issues.

Antimicrobial additives can be incorporated with plastic resins during compounding or as a masterbatch during molding and provide a biocide treatment to control microbes.

Common microbes antimicrobials can be effective against include

  • Mold fungi
  • Mildew fungi
  • Algae

  • Yeasts
  • Other microbes

Multiple antimicrobial technologies are available which are compatible with wide variety thermoplastic resins

  • Silver-based antimicrobials
    Silver has been used for centuries as a biosatic agent. When contacted by moisture an electrochemical reaction releases silver ions. These ions penetrate microbes rendering them unable to function, grow, or reproduce.

A wide variety of plastic articles are suitable* for antimicrobial treatment

  • Medical devices, FDA 510(k)
  • Sports and recreation equipment
  • Food processing and handling machinery
  • Business machines and consumer appliances
  • General household goods

  • Textile films & fibers
  • Transportation interiors
  • Construction supplies
  • Any outdoor applications

* In the United States usage and benefit claims are regulated by the EPA or guided by the FDA depending on usage.

Antimicrobial selection

Preparing answers to a few background questions provides a quick checklist that can help determine the suitability of available antimicrobial technologies to your application’s requirements:

  1. What is the end-use application and its typical usage environment?
  2. Do other products of this type already utilize antimicrobial protection?
  3. Is there a preferred technology for antimicrobial treatment?
  4. Does the antimicrobial additive need to function in a particular resin?
  5. Will other additives also be included in the resin?
  6. What antimicrobial efficacy or other performance requirements need to be met?
  7. What roll does cost have on antimicrobial technology selection?

 

Innovation Bulletin Download Download a print-friendly Antimicrobial Compounds innovation bulletin in PDF format.

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