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 and is essentially re-contaminated. Unlike disinfectant sprays, built-in antibacterial technologies can actively control bacterial growth on the 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 brings to ceramics manufacturers.

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 with unique formulations that are carefully optimised for each product’s manufacturing process. The additive is embedded within the ceramic glaze and delivers continuous protection against microbial reproduction and growth throughout the lifetime of the ceramic surface, so long as the 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, the Microban® ceramics engineers will develop a new formulation that can.

The Key Benefits of Antibacterial Ceramics Protection

  • Integrated antibacterial ceramics protection helps to fight the growth of stain and odour-causing bacteria, helping ceramic products to look better for longer.
  • Integrated antibacterial ceramics protection is effective against illness-causing bacteria, making it a perfect application for ceramic products used in hospitals, schools and other hygiene-critical environments.
  • Integrated antibacterial ceramics protection slows down the deterioration process, therefore extending the useful lifetime of a ceramic product.
  • Integrated antibacterial ceramics protection works around the clock to inhibit harmful bacteria as soon as they come into contact with the ceramic surface.
  • Once installed, integrated antibacterial ceramics protection does not wash off or wear away.
  • Integrated antibacterial ceramics protection provides an added level of cleanliness, ensuring ceramic products remain cleaner between cleanings. 

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 within Microban’s ceramic additive formulations is registered for use in both the US (EPA) and the EU (BPR).

A Global Trustmark in Antimicrobial Technology

Microban® International is the global leader for built-in antimicrobial 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 its wide range of support services, help companies differentiate their offerings with distinct advantages over competitors. That’s why Microban® is used and trusted by some of the world’s leading manufacturers of ceramic products, including Panariagroup, Florida Tile and many more.

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