ZPTech: The Broad Spectrum Antimicrobial
Polyester and other synthetics have proven to be very popular in the textile market due to their durability, versatility, stain and wrinkle resistance, and other advantages that make them excellent materials for foams and fabrics used in clothing, footwear, household items and industrial goods.
One problem that’s faced polyester goods manufacturers, buyers and consumers is its propensity for holding onto odors and stains caused by bacteria, mold and mildew, even after thorough cleaning. This is a particular issue for products likely to be exposed to moisture and warm temperatures, including activewear, shower curtains, mattresses, pillows, protective padding, and foam shoe inserts and fabric linings, because humidity is the ideal breeding environment for bacteria and fungi. These microorganisms, left uncontrolled, may lead to disease, odor and damage to products.
As much as consumers appreciate polyester and other synthetics for their high performance and durability, they are extremely adverse to the persistent, offensive odors associated with them. Bleach, ammonia and other chemical disinfectants used to kill bacteria and fungi can damage or discolor the objects they’re trying to treat, as well as cause respiratory irritation, be harmful if swallowed and injure bare skin.
To counter these problems, Microban’s antimicrobial solutions, including zinc pyrithione-based ZPTech, help synthetics-based products safely resist microorganisms while retaining the attributes that make them appealing to buyers and manufacturers.
Solution: Microban ZPTech™
Zinc Pyrithione is a wide-spectrum antimicrobial, effective in preventing growth of bacteria and fungi including mold, mildew and algae. It was first developed in the 1930s for its antifungal and antibacterial properties, and it is still commonly used today as a main ingredient in anti-dandruff shampoos and as an over-the-counter treatment for seborrheic dermatitis, psoriasis, eczema, athletes’ foot, ringworm and other medical conditions.
Microban ZPTech is a versatile set of zinc pyrithione based products tailored for use in a wide array of end-use applications. Products are delivered in a liquid dispersion form that incorporates the antimicrobial power of zinc directly within textile fibers and foams, making it a very durable antimicrobial. ZPTech dispersions are offered in both aqueous and non-aqueous carriers; non-aqueous dispersions are ideal for foam manufacturing processes that cannot tolerate significant quantities of water.
In laboratory tests, Microban ZPTech remained 99.99% effective in inhibiting the growth of bacteria and fungi on polyester and Lycra after 50 typical home launderings, longer than competitors’ zinc-based antimicrobials.
ZPTech’s high thermal stability – up to 235°C – makes it suitable for use in a variety of textile dyeing and pad finishing applications, including those that must be applied at high heat.
Microban ZPTech is not intended to replace usual laundering and cleaning routines, but rather to complement and extend their effectiveness. It adds another level of defense in the fight against bacteria, mold and mildew.
How Microban ZPTech Is Implemented
Microban’s experienced R&D staff works individually with synthetic textile and foam product manufacturers to make ZPTech integration as simple and seamless as possible without disruption to existing manufacturing processes.
ZPTech is easy to use as it can be added directly to the textile dyeing process. The product is also readily applied in a pad finishing process. During application, zinc becomes imbibed within the textile fibers, like a dye, and remains effective for more than 50 typical home launderings.
To ensure that ZPTech will not affect a product’s aesthetics or function, it is tested with each product to ensure all product attributes – including wicking, moisture management, color, color fastness and hand – are protected.
Safety is always our primary concern, and we use our expertise to ensure that ZPTech is safely handled throughout the supply chain, from transport to manufacture to end users.
By providing ZPTech to manufacturers in dispersions and training manufacturing staff on its proper use, Microban makes it very safe and easy to produce ZPTech textile products.
Safety and Environmental Stewardship
Microban ZPTech is a broad-spectrum antimicrobial, and its multiple modes of action against bacteria and fungi prevent microbes from adapting and developing resistance against it. It is FDA approved as a treatment for dandruff and other fungal infections at high levels, and at low levels (below 1000 ppm) it is registered with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and Food and Drug Administration (FDA) as safe to use in a variety of applications, including those that come in contact with food.
Microban ZPTech offerings are manufactured to high standards ensuring quality and consistency of the products. This, combined with Microban’s expert application guidance, ensures textiles and foams will be treated with safe and effective levels of zinc pyrithione. Through proper application, ZPTech becomes bound within the textile and remains inert until it comes into contact with a moist environment in which bacteria or fungi can grow. Moisture encourages the release of minute amounts of zinc – just enough to inhibit the microbe’s metabolism and prevent reproduction, with no risk of harm to humans.
Microban is committed to environmental stewardship. We utilize low- and no-VOC products, non-formaldehyde formulations and recycled materials to ensure our products comply with applicable environmental regulations, such as Restriction of Hazardous Substances (RoHS) and REACH, when used as directed and in the nations where they are sold.
Microban ZPTech’s antibacterial and antifungal properties make products more appealing to cleanliness-conscious consumers and business buyers, particularly in foams and fabrics likely to be used in moist, humid environments. These include activewear, athletic clothing, cleaning sponges, shower curtains, bath mats, protective padding, foam sandals, shoe linings and inserts, pillows, and mattresses.