According to the report of the latest issue of compounding world magazine:
Since the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic in early 2020, interest in antimicrobial solutions for incorporation into plastics used in multiple applications has increased hugely. Numerous suppliers report strong demand across multiple markets, with the greatest interest coming from the healthcare, packaging, clothing and transportation sectors. Particularly high levels of interest include protective films and frequently touched surfaces. Biocides incorporated into plastics provide protection against microbial attack of the final article, extending its lifetime. Where optimum conditions for growth exist, then fungi, algae and bacteria may colonise and degrade the plastic within the bulk, or on the surface, of the plastic article. Microbial growth can result in surface staining, pitting, reduction of structural strength, embrittlement, change in conductivity or flexibility, bad odour, and other physical or mechanical property changes. Developers and producers of antimicrobial solutions have upped their efforts to develop new offerings, many of them based on natural products.
Swiss company Sanitized claims to be a leader in natural odour-management, antimicrobial hygiene function and material protection for plastics and textiles. “During the pandemic we have seen a growing demand for clean surfaces and hygiene in public as well as in private spaces,” says Polymer Additives Product Manager Christine Niklas. “The first lockdown increased the demand for applications in the private sphere. For example, cleanliness in the kitchen became more important, and it remains so. However, public areas have not moved out of focus either. We observed this trend worldwide, and it is certain to continue even after the pandemic.” Niklas says demand for products with broad protection is increasing. “We have recently completed the Sanitized Broadtec product family and can offer now all delivery forms for all application processes and all needs. The products are suitable for various manufacturing processes like calendering, extrusion, injection moulding, and coating.” US-headquartered Microban International says it will launch several novel antimicrobial products later this year. The introductions include a new antibacterial chemistry that the company says can be seamlessly integrated into low temperature polymers during production for long-lasting efficacy, without affecting the texture, optical clarity, colour or durability of the final parts. “The active ingredient in this next generation technology is naturally occurring, sustainable, non-toxic, and free from heavy metals,” says Microban. “The additive also has high chemical, thermal and UV stability, and is already approved for food contact applications in the EU. This will be complemented by another new technology that has already been proven to be an effective antibacterial and antifungal, and can be easily incorporated into PVC, PP, TPU and EVA products at the point of manufacture. Suitable for both indoor and outdoor use, it has potential applications in areas such as the automotive and roofing markets.”