TREND Group has partnered with Microban® International to enhance etherium® By E-Stone, the only engineered stone surface that offers 24/7 Microban® product protection. Charlotte Russell, CEO of TREND Group, discusses how Microban’s expertise allowed for the seamless integration of antimicrobial technology without compromising product quality, including maintaining color and preventing cracking or bowing.
The Company: TREND Group
TREND Group, a leading global producer of glass and gold mosaic, venetian smalti and engineered glass, quartz, and granite agglomerate surfaces, was founded in 2000 by Dr Pino Bisazza and Andrea Di Giuseppe. Its unique etherium® By E-Stone engineered stone quartz product line – made from up to 72 % post-consumer recycled materials – is produced at the state-of-the-art E-Stone manufacturing facility in Sebring, Florida, which currently fabricates over 8 million square feet of engineered agglomerate surfaces annually. Non-porous and resistant to mold/mildew, heat, stains and scratches, etherium® By E-Stone has the strength and appearance of quarried stone but, unlike traditional quartz materials, it also has flexural strength, making it easier to handle and use, and ideal for commercial construction projects.
The Challenge: When aesthetics alone are not enough
Airports, universities, hospitality venues, and many commercial sectors welcome a huge footfall of people from all walks of life, and with that comes new challenges. Traditionally, strong and durable construction is associated with thick, hard, industrial and potentially unattractive materials. Today, the construction industry faces a demand for architectural designs that are not only pleasing to look at, but also remain durable and cleaner for longer. This has proven increasingly important in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, as the mindset of customers has shifted the market toward cleaner and safer products.
The Solution: Cleaner and more durable construction
TREND Group chose to partner with Microban International to engineer the qualities of traditional construction materials and Microban antimicrobial technologies into etherium® By E-Stone, and improve the cleanliness and durability of its manufactured products. Charlotte explained: “Our customers want a product that not only looks beautiful at the time of installation, but also stays that way for many years afterwards. This means using materials that are durable and stay cleaner for longer, so that they still look as good as new 10 years down the line. When COVID-19 changed the world almost overnight and put more focus than ever on cleanliness and antimicrobial protection, we needed to ensure that our products remained relevant. We looked for a partner that would be recognizable to any audience, from professionals engaged in architectural specification and design requiring certifications, to the public, who want a well-known name that gives them reassurance that they are in a clean environment. It was an easy choice to partner with Microban.”
A seamless transition
Microban International is the global leader of antimicrobial additives, and all Microban technologies are tried and tested, with a long history of safe and effective use across a wide range of product types. Charlotte continued: “We had tested a few antimicrobial technologies over the years, but had never been able to find the right combination of product line and vendor. When COVID-19 hit, we had an opportunity to partner with Microban International to add this characteristic to our product line and jumped at the chance. Three main issues are commonly encountered when a new product recipe is created or an existing one changed – color variance, cracking and bowing. With Microban, the whole process was quite seamless as they already had extensive experience in antimicrobial-engineered stone products. It was essentially just a case of finding the right ratio of product to Microban chemistry, which was achieved fairly quickly.”
Benefits of engineered stone for floors, walls, and countertops with Microban® technology
- etherium® By E-Stone engineered stone products offer 24/7 Microban product protection.
- Built-in Microban chemistry creates an inhospitable environment for bacteria growth, inhibiting their reproduction.
- TREND Group customers have peace of mind from 24/7 Microban antimicrobial technology that etherium® By E-Stone surfaces are durable and stay cleaner, retaining an ‘as new’ appearance for many years after installation.
- Incorporating Microban antimicrobial additives directly into engineered stone products during manufacture ensures that it becomes an inherent feature that won’t wear away, even after extensive use, for the lifetime of the product.
- Microban's in-house regulatory department and marketing team have a comprehensive knowledge of the Biocidal Products Regulation (BPR) and Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) policies to guide partners with their antimicrobial claims across Europe and North America respectively.