What is an antimicrobial plastic?
An antimicrobial plastic is a synthetic polymer material containing a built-in active ingredient that makes it resistant to microbial growth.
Creating antimicrobial plastics
Microban is widely recognized as the world leader in built-in antimicrobial technologies. Our portfolio of antimicrobial additives helps keep polymer products and surfaces cleaner by inhibiting the growth of bacteria, mold, and mildew. Microban's customized chemistries are incorporated into plastic products at the point of manufacture and provide ongoing protection for the expected lifetime of the product.
High-traffic surfaces on buses, trains, and airplanes, often serve as a breeding ground for microbes. Microban technology provides proactive protection against harmful bacteria, mold, and mildew growth to deliver added peace of mind in the transportation industry.
Built-in antimicrobial technology for food contact surfaces enables food industry professionals to maintain cleaner environments for the storage, delivery, processing, preparation and serving of food consumed by both people and animals.
Building materials often contain starches, organic adhesives, and cellulose sugars, which are ideal nutrient sources for microbial growth. Microban technology can be integrated into polymeric building materials to help deliver permanent surface protection.
SilverShield® is a range of silver-based antibacterial technologies for plastics. The proven formulations operate a multi-modal attack, eliminating up to 99.9% of bacterial growth.
ZPTech® is a range of zinc-based, multi-modal antimicrobial technologies for plastics. The formulations are proven to inhibit the growth of bacteria, mold, and mildew on plastic articles.
Coming from chemistry inspired by nature, Ascera™ is a sustainable antibacterial technology designed for use on olefinic polymers and solvent-based coating applications.
Microban protection is a permanent, cost-effective solution that remains active for your plastic product's expected lifetime.
Microban protection creates inherently cleaner and more durable plastic products that work to complement regular cleaning.
Microban protection has been proven to reduce the presence of harmful bacteria on plastics. Tested strains include E. coli and MRSA.
Microban protection works to prevent the growth of unsightly mold and mildew, helping improve product longevity and performance.
Stops the stink
Microban protection preserves the aesthetics of your plastic product by minimizing the presence of stain and odor-causing bacteria.
Microban protection actively inhibits the growth of microbes that will prematurely degrade plastics, helping extend product lifespan.
Safe to use
Microban protection has undergone extensive independent laboratory testing and has a long history of safe use in a plethora of plastic products.
Selected Microban technologies are food contact approved, being listed on EFSA, registered with the EPA, and permitted for use by the FDA.
Tried & trusted
Microban protection is used and trusted by some of the world's leading product manufacturers, including Speck and GE Appliances.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the key difference between plastics and polymers?
Polymers can exist organically or be created synthetically. They consist of chains of joined individual molecules or monomers. By contrast, plastics are composed of chains of polymers that can be partially organic or fully synthetic.
What is an antimicrobial polymer?
Antimicrobial polymers are lightweight, strong substrates treated with an antimicrobial additive that becomes a permanent part of the material, making it inherently resistant to the growth of microbes.
How are antimicrobial agents integrated into plastics?
For injection molded or extruded thermoplastic polymers, pellet-based masterbatches are available to ensure seamless incorporation. There are also powder and liquid-based masterbatches for other processes such as powder coating, reaction injection molding, cross-linked liquid applied coatings, roto-molding, and foaming.
What are common antimicrobial technologies for plastics?
There is a range of antimicrobial technologies that are suitable for integration into plastics. Common active ingredients include silver and zinc. There are other actives available that are based on non-heavy metals.
What are common applications for antimicrobial plastics?
Common applications for antimicrobial plastics include food storage containers, water tanks, phone cases, water bottles and chopping boards.
What are the key benefits of antimicrobial technologies for plastics?
Antimicrobial technologies for plastics allow manufacturers to create products that are protected against microbial growth for their expected lifetime. This means the products not only stay cleaner and fresher but also last longer.
Who does Microban partner with in the plastics industry?
Microban is partnered with hundreds of brands and manufacturers that create plastic products or components. These include GE Appliances, Poly, Speck, and MacDermid.
Are Microban antimicrobial technologies for plastics safe?
Yes, Microban technologies for plastics are safe. They have undergone rigorous independent laboratory testing and are notified/registered with key regulatory bodies in both Europe and the US.
Are Microban antimicrobial technologies for plastics sustainable?
Microban does offer antimicrobial technologies for plastics that are based on green, non-heavy metal active ingredients.
Are some plastics inherently antimicrobial?
Yes, some plastics do have inherent antimicrobial properties. However, in order to make antimicrobial claims about a plastic product, it needs to contain a registered antimicrobial ingredient.
How do I know the technology is working in my plastic product?
Plastic products treated with Microban technology undergo regular testing to demonstrate antibacterial and/or antifungal performance.
Is Microban technology compatible with all types of polymers?
Microban technology is compatible with a broad range of polymers including ABS, PP, PE, PS, and PC.
In what forms can antimicrobial technology for plastics be suppled?
Antimicrobial technology can be supplied in a range of forms including powder, liquid and masterbatch pellet. Formulations are largely dictated by material type and manufacturing process.
Do Microban technologies influence the odor emissions of polymers?
Whilst Microban technologies actively reduce the growth of odor-causing bacteria on product surfaces, they cannot be used to prevent odor emissions in polymers during the manufacturing process.