Antibacterial coating application systems

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Highest standards of hygiene are essential for health care operators. Despite frequent cleaning, however, certain frequently used surfaces such as door handles, elevator buttons, shopping trolley handrails and light switches pose a considerable risk of transmission of bacteria, viruses and fungal cultures. One way to reduce the risk of infection – for example by MRSA- (methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, so-called ‘hospital bacteria’) and E. Coli bacteria – lies in the use of specially coated products with a permanently antibacterial and antiviral surface. This method is available immediately and is especially helpful in times of the COVID-19 pandemic to prevent dangerous infections.

Copper surfaces inactivate a variety of bacteria, viruses and fungi in a process known as contact killing. Copper-containing alloys are ideal for surfaces and objects that are frequently touched, as copper is also able to greatly reduce MRSA bacteria between regular cleanings. The copper alloy applied in a vacuum makes use of a natural interaction between the cell wall membrane and simple organisms such as viruses or bacteria. The contact leads to the formation of cracks in the cell wall membrane. Through the cracks in the outer membrane, the cell loses vital nutrients and water, which generally weakens the cell and eventually causes it to die. The copper alloy is completely harmless to the human organism and the original surface character of the material is preserved.

Permanent antimicrobial effectiveness
Metallic copper surfaces not only have a permanent antimicrobial effectiveness against a large number of Gram-negative and -positive bacteria as well as against viruses, but can also effectively kill micro-organisms with a high infectious risk potential.

Singulus Technologies offers production systems under the brand name Decoline II, which apply copper functional layers in a vacuum coating process (sputtering). The fully automated production system with the corresponding throughput allows for a cost-efficient production process for such tasks. The central component of the production line is a vacuum sputtering machine, the Polycoater Metallizer, which operates on the principle of cathode sputtering and realises a sustainable and environmentally-friendly coating. The complete production line integrates metallisation in a vacuum and automatically transports the parts to defined transfer positions. In combination with base coats, the coating is used for the additional finishing of two- or three-dimensional components of different characteristics. The cycle time per carrier is only six seconds. Through the use of UV-lacquers and the ability to recycle these, the output of environmentally-burdening emissions is minimised. The environmentally friendly, flexible process thus offers a real alternative to batch processes. All types of surfaces such as plastic, glass and metal can be treated.
The company develops and assembles innovative machines and systems for efficient and resource-saving production processes, which are used worldwide in the solar, semiconductor, medical technology as well as consumer goods and data storage sectors.

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