The Key Benefits of Antibacterial Ceramics

By Kimberley Cherrington, International Marketing Manager (Built-In) at Microban International

Innovative Antibacterial Ceramics Technologies for Cleaner Ceramic Products

Ceramic surfaces are a common feature in domestic, commercial and healthcare spaces. The versatile nature of this solid material means it is used to create a plethora of products for an array of different environments.

From walls and worktops in kitchens, to flooring and sinks in bathrooms, frequently utilised ceramic surfaces are often subjected to moist and humid conditions, making them prone to the growth of harmful bacteria.

Scrubbing with disinfectant cleaners is an essential way to temporarily reduce the presence of microbes on ceramic surfaces. However, research has shown that cleaning products have a limited residual effect, meaning microbes begin to double in number every twenty minutes soon after a surface has been cleaned.

Unlike disinfectant sprays, built-in antibacterial technologies can actively control bacterial growth on a ceramic surface and work to extend the effectiveness of regular cleaning routines by reducing the background bioburden.

Antibacterial Ceramics Expertise From Microban®

Ceramics production is a complex process with many technical challenges. Ceramics are comprised of clay and other natural earthen elements, meaning the composition of the raw materials can vary considerably, not only from local mining but also from lot to lot. In addition to variations within the natural minerals themselves, there are numerous process variables that can affect the finished ware, such as firing temperature, time and atmospheric conditions.

The addition of antibacterial technology can also be a challenging process as interactions may occur between antimicrobial additive materials and auxiliary minerals in the glaze.

Any of these factors in isolation - high heat, raw material variations or additives - as well as the chemical interactions among them can produce surprising effects. Disruption to the delicate balance among the various components can damage, flux, spot, melt or otherwise render useless the ceramic product and its features.

It takes extraordinary knowledge, skill and flexibility to consider all these factors and produce a ceramic product that is not only functionally and aesthetically pleasing, but also protected against microbial growth. It is such expertise that Microban® can bring to ceramics manufacturers.

Discover Microban's Patented Antibacterial Technologies for Ceramics

Since 2006, Microban® has worked extensively to develop antibacterial technologies that can be applied to ceramics without altering the surface or requiring a UV light for activation. Unlike TiO2 and ultra-smooth surfaces, Microban’s patented ceramic antibacterial formulations combat the uncontrolled growth of bacteria and are carefully optimised for each product’s manufacturing process.

The additive is embedded within the ceramic glaze of the tile to deliver continuous surface protection against microbial reproduction and growth. The antibacterial properties remain present and active for the expected lifetime of the tile, so long as the treated glaze remains intact.

Microban’s experienced ceramics engineers work closely with manufacturers to ensure that the antimicrobial technologies integrate seamlessly into existing mixing and manufacturing processes, enhancing products without impairing aesthetics, functionality or durability.

Microban® is committed to delivering a technical solution that is efficacious, as measured by ASTM E3031-15, transparent to a manufacturer’s process and products, and economically feasible. If the current Microban® antimicrobial ceramics formulations can’t meet these requirements, our specialist ceramics engineers will develop a new formulation that can.

The Key Benefits of Microban® Antibacterial Ceramics Technology

  • Helps ceramic tiles stay cleaner and fresher in-between cleaning by fighting the growth of stain and odor-causing bacteria
  • Proven effective against illness-causing bacteria, making it a value-added feature for ceramic surfaces used in hospitals, schools and other hygiene-critical environments
  • Extends the durability and longevity of ceramic surfaces
  • Inhibits bacterial growth as soon as they come into contact with the treated ceramic surface
  • Once engineered into the tile, integrated antibacterial ceramics technology will not wash off or wear away
  • Supports existing cleaning protocols and makes surfaces easier to clean

Commitment to Safety and the Environment

Microban® is committed to consumer safety and environmental stewardship. Microban® scientists work closely with manufacturers to ensure the safety of the antibacterial ceramics technology across the supply chain - from delivery, receipt and storage, to integration into the manufacturing process and commercialisation in a treated product.

Microban’s patented technology is formulated from specific components to be non-migratory, ensuring that it is retained within the ceramic glaze to prevent microbial reproduction for the product’s expected lifetime. The SilverShield® antibacterial technology contained in Microban’s ceramic additive formulations is registered with the US EPA and notified with the EU BPR.

A Global Trustmark in Antimicrobial Technology

Microban® International is the global leader in built-in antimicrobial product protection. With the broadest set of antimicrobial additives on the market today, Microban® is committed to partnering with manufacturers to develop the ideal solution for their products.

Microban’s cutting-edge ceramic technologies, combined with our wide range of support services, help companies commercialise treated products in a credible, confident and compliant manner. That’s why Microban® is used and trusted by some of the world’s leading manufacturers of ceramic products, including Panariagroup, Florida Tile, Keraben Grupo, EL-KHAYYAT and many more.

For more information on the range of available antibacterial ceramics technologies for your products, contact us today.