Whether in our personal homes or public spaces, high-touch surfaces can often suffer under the burden of immense microbial loads. Unwanted bacteria are constantly landing on surfaces and can double every 20 minutes, posing a cleaning problem that regular disinfection practices can’t keep up with. Further, the proliferation of microbes on surfaces and textiles can lead to degradation, stains and odors that decrease the value and usable lifetime of products.
Addressing the growing awareness and concern surrounding these issues, the antimicrobial coatings market has seen significant growth over the past five years and is expected to reach USD 21.5 billion by 2028.
What are antimicrobial coatings?
Antimicrobial coatings are surface treatments that contain antimicrobial additives to prevent the growth of bacteria, mold, and mildew. These include water-based, solvent-based, high solids and powder coatings – all specifically designed to add the value of protection and inherent cleanliness to products.
Antimicrobial paints and coatings have a wide range of end-use applications, but ultimately are used by manufacturers worldwide to optimize material preservation, enhance longevity of product use and provide lower maintenance solutions that complement regular cleaning practices. Common product applications across the industry include medical devices, air conditioning and ventilation systems, sanitary facilities and kitchens, inks, high touch surfaces, food processing, packaging, textiles and construction.
How do antimicrobial additives in coatings work?
Coatings developed with Microban® antimicrobial technology contain a chemistry that works at the cellular level to continually disrupt the life functions of bacteria including eating, reproducing, and making waste. The moment microbes land on a coated surface, Microban technologies use a multi-modal attack to damage their protein, cell membrane, DNA, and internal systems, causing them to die.
Finished products enhanced with antimicrobial coatings experience a continuous reduction in the presence of stain and odor causing bacteria 24/7 for the usable lifetime of the product. The ‘always-on’ technology keeps surfaces cleaner in between cleanings and supports a systems approach to managing the unwanted microbial load even after multiple touches.
These coatings are versatile in application and can be integrated further down the manufacturing pipeline, ultimately making them less intrusive to existing production processes. Microban works with manufacturers to identify additive solutions specific to each product application, not only to develop a high-performing antimicrobial solution, but to preserve the desired look and feel of the finished product or surface.
How to create an antimicrobial coating
Antimicrobial paints and coatings are an ideal choice for a wide variety of finished products across multiple industries. Ensuring the result has desired efficacy and value, manufacturers must carefully navigate through key considerations:
Nature of risks – consider end use environment and conditions of finished product such as light exposure, cleaning practices, abrasiveness in use, expectant product life, humidity etc.
Application methods – consider current manufacturing processes and select the optimal choice for the finished product
roll to roll | dip coating | spray coating | padding | removable films | powder coating | UV cured | 2-part epoxy | sputtering
End goals & performance needs – consider purpose of coating additive: protection from premature degradation, organism-specific targeting, or both, as well as desired efficacy, regulatory compliance needs, and material properties
Key benefits of Microban® antimicrobial additives for paints and coatings
- Seamless integration of antimicrobial additive incorporated during manufacturing without disrupting existing processes or desired look and feel of finished product.
- 24/7 protection against bacteria, mold and mildew growth – keeping finished products fresher, cleaner and more durable
- Enhanced product differentiation that provides end-users greater peace of mind
- Detailed formulations compliant with global regulations
- Organism targeting by industry to ensure coating provides maximum value and effectiveness to end-use environment
- Complements existing cleaning practices and does not wash off or wear away
- Cost-effective and streamlined approach based on experiences with test methods, existing applications and proven efficacy
- Perfect for addition to coatings used in hot and humid environments, such as bathrooms and kitchens
Common applications for antimicrobial coatings
Microban is currently partnered with leaders across multiple industries to provide antimicrobial additives for a variety of different applications.
Sherwin Williams: Across their leading brand portfolio, Sherwin-Williams is providing partners around the world with antimicrobial finishing solutions. They engineer paints and coatings for powders, wood, plastics, electronics and more with Microban® antimicrobial technology that protects against the growth of product degrading bacteria.
Coatings Tech: COTECH Bio Safe™ by Coatings Tech is an easy-to-clean, hardwearing coating that features Microban® antimicrobial technology and is specifically designed for high-touch metallic surfaces. The antimicrobial coating helps prevent the growth of bacteria, making Bio Safe™ an ideal choice to coat high-touch surfaces across public spaces including retail stores, airplanes, trains and offices.
Kwikset: Through a unique, powder coating with Microban® antimicrobial technology, Kwikset provides a lifetime of protection across their finished door hardware. The built-in technology works around the clock to defend against bacteria, mold, and mildew growth, without compromising the look and feel of door finishings.
Taubmans: A leading player in the Australian architectural coatings market, Taubmans offers homeowners and commercial painters interior paints ideal for damp or humid environments like kitchens, bathrooms, and laundry rooms. EASYCOAT with Microban® helps protect painted surfaces from the growth of bacteria, mold and mildew, keeping spaces looking fresher while also increasing the usable lifetime of the paint itself.
Everbrite: CrobialCoat™ is a durable, clear protective coating that provides for multiple surface substrates from the harmful effects of rust, salt damage, tarnish, corrosion and oxidation. CrobialCoat features built in Microban® antimicrobial technology for an added level of protection against the growth of microbes when applied to surfaces. Ideal for high touch surfaces where cleanliness matters, CrobialCoat by Everbrite provides long lasting durability and scratch resistance upon application.