Italy-based Panariagroup, a leader in the ceramic sector, both in terms of style and product innovation, is a long-time Microban® partner. As is the case with all partners, the team at Microban is always looking for new methods and new opportunities to push the innovation envelope and advance the technology we provide. These efforts have been particularly successful in the ceramic sector with Panariagroup.
Microban technology has been built into a wide variety of bathroom products such as toilet levers, sponges, and more for over 30 years, but the ceramic based product area required more innovation. This is due to the difficulty of incorporating the antimicrobial technology during the manufacturing process. For instance, a normal manufacturing method called sintering requires the material being exposed to temperatures between 1800°C - 2000°C for days or weeks at a time, depending on the ceramic and process details.
After seven years of research effort and more than one million dollars in development costs, Microban developed solutions that are added to the ceramic product during the normal manufacturing process to become an integral and permanent part of the glaze. These EPA and BPR approved products reduce bacteria on the tile for the life of the product. In 2016 Microban was awarded two United States patents relating to antimicrobial technology in ceramics. These patents cover incorporating antimicrobials into ceramics-based products such as floor and wall tiles, and sanitary ware products such as toilets and sinks. This patented protection is applied to tile products produced both by Panariagroup and their US-based company, Florida Tile.