JAN. 3–LONDON– Steelmaker Corus Group and Microban International Ltd., a New York City-based manufacturer of antimicrobial products, are developing a bacteria-resistant metal to make cleanrooms and food production units, while consumers will see it in washing machines and other “high touch” home appliances.
The two companies say the new product, Assure, will be the first sheet steel with an antibacterial coating a product that has a variety of potential applications within the food processing industry since it inhibits growth of the four most common germs found in food production environments: salmonella, E. coli, listeria and staphylococcus.
According to the companies, the steel is produced as any conventional galvanized sheet steel, in coil form. It is then coated with either polymer film or wet paint containing the Microban’s antibacterial ingredient, which gradually penetrates the polymer structure of the coating and stays within the intermolecular polymer structure.
The result is that the coating does not lose its antibacterial properties as it wears off the surface, a problem that has plagued similar efforts in the past.