Antibacterial Ceramic Tiles from Panariagroup
'Be Happy on the Floor'
Panariagroup Industrie Ceramiche S.p.A., is located in the “ceramic district” of Italy between Modena and Reggio Emilia. The group operates through eight brands and has been producing ceramics for floor, wall and other surface applications for over 30 years, with a focus on the high-end and luxury segment of the market. With around 1,800 employees and six manufacturing plants, Panariagroup ranks among the main national and international producers in its sector, distributing its products in more than 100 countries through a sales network made of 500 employees and 300 agents serving a base of about 9,000 partners.
PROTECT by Panariagroup
The relationship between Panariagroup and Microban International demonstrates the importance that Panariagroup place on product research and development to consistently stay at the cutting edge of ceramics innovation. The extensive work at the Panariagroup Research Centre in conjunction with Microban has culminated in the creation of PROTECT, a range of ceramic floor and wall tiles enhanced with antibacterial product protection.
Integrated at the stage of manufacture, Microban 3G Silver™ technology works around-the-clock to eliminate up to 99.9% of bacteria on the surface of the tiles. The result is a surface which is consistently protected, with improved levels of hygiene, unalterable from wear and tear and climatic conditions.
Key Benefits of PROTECT Ceramic Tiles:
- Powerful Antibacterial Properties: resistant to the growth of harmful and degrading bacteria by up to 99.9%
- 24/7 Product Protection: the antibacterial shield in PROTECT tiles is always active, day and night
- Lifetime Performance: antibacterial technology remains active throughout the life cycle of the ceramic tile and guarantees a high level of product protection in-between cleaning.
- Guaranteed Quality: PROTECT is guaranteed by the partnership with Microban, the world’s leading specialist in safe and effective antimicrobial technology. Furthermore, the antibacterial technology manufactured into PROTECT tiles complies with international safety regulations and is tested by independent specialized laboratories.
PROTECT with Microban Technology vs. TiO2
PROTECT by Panariagroup utilises proven antibacterial product protection. Unlike technologies based on Titanium Dioxide (TiO2), Microban does not require sunlight or UV rays for activation.
Titanium Dioxide Photocatalytic Technology (TiO2) is powered by sunlight, which acts on the TiO2 in the ceramic glaze. The technology claims to have antibacterial, “self-cleaning”, and pollutant removal abilities on ceramic tiles. However, research has exposed several limitations of TiO2 when compared with built-in antimicrobial ceramic technologies.
The limitations of TiO2 technology:
- Isn't effective indoors: Unlike Microban ceramic technologies, TiO2 requires strong sunlight to work well, particularly the UVA component of sunlight. There is a strong drop-off in solar intensity when you walk inside a building. The peak outdoors is 1000W/m2. This reduces to 60W/m2 by a window (such as a sunny kitchen window), and then to a paltry 0.033 W/m2 just 3 meters from a window. The intensity is even lower in an enclosed bathroom illuminated by a lamp. At these low light levels, the photolytic effect of TiO2 is negligible. Its antibacterial, self-cleaning, and pollutant removal claims are also inconsequential indoors because the photolytic conversion is very inefficient - that is unless you are inside a building with no roof!
- Can be toxic: TiO2, under sunlight, produces the highly reactive ROS (Reactive Oxygen Species). The ROS species is purported to destroy (by oxidation) organic and inorganic pollutants. The air in the home may be polluted by over 60 volatile organic compounds (VOCs) at once. The activity of TiO2 may create partially oxidized VOCs that might be more harmful and toxic than their original forms. Manufacturers of TiO2 must offer proof that the technology does not create any hazardous compounds. Currently, there is insufficient academic research to support this. An indoor study of TiO2 in paint showed no ability of the technology to remove a mixture of organic compounds, each at 30-100 parts per billion under 1 W/m2 of UVA light.
- Costly: TiO2 has a number of structures. The photoactive form, Anatase, is only stable under 600°C. A typical ceramic kiln is fired above 800°C. That converts the Anatase form to the Rutile form of TiO2, which is not photoactive. To get around this limitation, TiO2 is applied after the main firing process and then re-fired at a lower temperature. This increases the cost of manufacture, potentially limits the surface aesthetics of the tile, and may even weaken the toughness of the glaze surface. Microban ceramic technologies can be added with the glaze chemistry and fired with no temperature limitations or any additional processes.
Combining Beauty and Hygiene with Sustainability
Panariagroup is committed to growing and creating well-being in harmony with people and the environment. The company continues to lead the ceramics industry with key sustainability initiatives, such as its recent adhesion to the United Nations Global Compact.
Microban contributes to Panariagroup's sustainability initiatives in two ways: firstly, through the manufacturing of its antimicrobial additives, and secondly by creating cleaner and more hygienic products and surfaces that help to foster more sustainable built environments.
Sustainability in Manufacturing
The Microban antimicrobial additives that are incorporated into Panariagroup’s ceramic tile products are developed and quality controlled under Microban Products Company, an ISO 9001:2015 certified company. Special measures are put into place during the manufacturing of these advanced antimicrobial additives to ensure sustainability considerations, including virtually no raw material waste generation in the blending process, full recovery & recycling of process water used, and the use of natural gas as the cleanest burning fuel in melt operations.
Sustainability in the Built Environment: Integrative Environmental Health
Microban has pioneered an advanced model to illustrate the critical elements of a healthier and more sustainable built environment: Integrative Environmental Health (IEH). Integrative Environmental Health is a collection of measures, practices and products employed in a building that contribute to better environmental conditions and ultimately promote human well-being.
All elements of IEH must be present to create the best environmental health for a building structure. A well-constructed and maintained building will not only last longer, but also minimise repair and remediation costs while presenting the best environment for its inhabitants. In addition, a properly constructed and maintained building will consume minimal energy and minimise generation of preventable waste and chemicals such as remediation work and the need to treat areas with aggressive chemicals.
The Integrative Environmental Health model is fully in-line with green and sustainability precepts, as advocated by Panariagroup.
Other Panariagroup Brands Featuring Microban Technology
The Panariagroup brands of Cotto d’Este, Lea, and Panaria are produced featuring Microban antibacterial technology, guaranteeing something more than just beauty and durability. The presence of Microban also signifies lasting product protection, improved surface hygiene and trusted antibacterial performance for living, leisure and working environments.