Titanium dioxide has antimicrobial effects, preventing growth on its surface.

Fight infection and disease with antimicrobial coating

In a world of touch screens and over-crowded hospitals, the demand for antimicrobial coating has never been higher. Millions of people acquire a healthcare associated infection every year. These include respiratory infections, urinary tract infections, and surgical site infections. Infections occur outside the hospital too; aged care facilities, laboratories, schools, food processing and catering, leisure facilities and more are all prey to the spread of microorganisms. Antimicrobial coatings work by preventing microorganisms (bacteria, fungi, viruses) from adhering to a surface and destroying the microorganisms they come into contact with. With resistant bacteria on the rise, antimicrobial coating is one way to protect ourselves and others against the threat of infection and illness.

In this article we will look at what makes antimicrobial coating work, and the many applications of antimicrobial spray coating across the medical and healthcare sectors. We also look at the manufacturers and companies who produce antimicrobial coatings in Singapore.

The 3 properties of a high quality antimicrobial coating

No matter if you are looking for a complex industrial antibacterial coating system or a simpler temporary antimicrobial spray coating, the solution must have the following three properties besides being antibacterial.

  1. Abrasion resistant –  Antimicrobial coatings need abrasion resistance, mechanical strength, and the ability to withstand use, especially for areas like floors, walls, and oft-handled surfaces.
  2. Highly adhesive – Antimicrobial coatings provide a barrier between a substrate and the environment, and they need to adhere strongly in order to prevent any spaces or gaps in which microbes could prosper, especially in interstitial spaces in textiles.
  3. Chemical resistant – The environments in which antimicrobial coating are applied are also environments where heavy-duty cleaning agents are used. Because of this antimicrobial coatings need to endure chemicals without loss of efficacy.

Due to these properties antimicrobial coatings are suitable for high-use surfaces like floors, walls, countertops, door handles, light switches, medical instruments, and textiles such as scrubs, masks, and gloves.

Antimicrobial spray coating & other solutions made possible by additives

Antimicrobial coatings work through the biocidal action of copper, silver, zinc, or organic additives. These materials interfere with the spread of microbes through various mechanisms, such as binding and interfering with respiration or destruction of bacterial proteins and cell walls. The end result is the same: microbial growth is inhibited and the microbes are destroyed.

  • Silver, the most common antimicrobial additive in coatings and paint. Silver does not change the appearance of coated surfaces and effectively kills pathogenic bacteria and Candida without harming the good probiotic bacteria. Silver ion is also suitable for making nano coatings antimicrobial.
  • Copper which is more effective than silver in killing bacteria yet it drastically changes the surface’s appearance and is therefore not very common in medical antimicrobial coatings. It is more often used as antifouling on boat bottoms.
  • Zinc resists bacteria in a moderate rate, but works very well against mould and fungi. Therefore it is a common additive in lightly antimicrobial and mould resistant coatings.
  • Organic additives including phenolic biocides, quaternary ammonium compounds and fungicides. Used for protecting a surface rather than the one touching the surface.

Where antimicrobial coating is used

Any environment in which the spread of microbes or illness is a risk can benefit from an antimicrobial coating. Whether there is a need for a hygienic solution in a public bathroom or to protect end-users in a food preparation facility, an antimicrobial coating is a simple and effective choice. Therefore, antimicrobial coatings are especially used in the healthcare and medical sectors in various applications such as the following.

Antimicrobial and antibacterial coating for interiors

The purpose of antimicrobial coating for interior surfaces is to prevent spread of bacteria. These coatings are a must in areas where harmful bacteria are present such as hospitals and clinics. The interior surfaces that require antimicrobial properties include floors, walls and high touch surfaces.

    Antimicrobial coatings for walls prevent the spread of bacteria and the growth of fungi and mould; they contribute to overall hygiene and reduce the risk of mould and fungi borne illnesses.
    Suitable coatings: Zinc rich polyurethane wall coating and epoxy paints, nano wall coatings. For example: Sika Duroplast – 100N.
    An antimicrobial flooring prevents bacteria from outside getting in, as well as hinders the internal spread of bacteria by providing a surface impossible for bacteria to survive on.
    Suitable coatings: Epoxy and polyurethane flooring with antimicrobial additives (usually silver or organic additives). For example: Flowcrete Flowfresh  products.

    antibacterial coating on high touch surfaces like handrails.

    antibacterial coating on high touch surfaces like handrails.

    These frequently touched surfaces such as doorknobs, bins, elevators and other metal surfaces require a durable and aesthetically appealing coating with strongly antimicrobial properties to prevent the spread of bacteria.
    Suitable coatings: Silver ion reinforced antimicrobial powder coatings or an antimicrobial additive integrated into the material (plastic or metal) during manufacture. For example: AkzoNobel Interpon AM powders, BioCote Additives.

Antimicrobial coating for ductwork

Ductwork is a silent cause of allergies and illness used in heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) to deliver and remove air from a building, especially buildings like airports, schools, offices blocks, and medical facilities. Ductwork that is not maintained can become contaminated with dust, dirt, bacteria, fungi, and mould, leading to all these substances circulating a building. Asthma and Legionnaire’s disease are just two outcomes of contaminated ductwork. To protect from this antimicrobial coating for ductwork can be used, preventing the growth of microorganisms and protecting the inhabitants. These coatings are also anti-corrosive to protect the steelwork of the system.

Suitable coatings: Liquid water-based epoxy or emulsion coatings containing silver ion or copper. Copper plating alone prevents microbial growth, but the surface then requires more frequent cleaning and maintenance. For example: BioShield Tech – Silver Bullet AM.

Antimicrobial spray coating for medical equipment

Medical instruments and implantable devices need to remain clean and free of bacteria at all times to prevent infections at surgery sites or in recovery. Therefore, different medical antimicrobial coatings are applied to achieve such a surface. The requirements for these coatings include hydrophobic, easy to clean, and antimicrobial.

Suitable coatings: Antimicrobial powder coating or nano coating with silver ion. For example: PPG Silversan and Interpon AM powders.

Antimicrobial coating products and manufacturers in Singapore

Antimicrobial coating products available in Singapore can be divided into: antimicrobial powders, antimicrobial coating additives, and nano coatings. In the following table we provide you with a brief overview on antimicrobial coating and additive manufacturers active in Singapore.

If you want more information about antimicrobial coating for your project, get in touch! Our experts are here to help. Simply send us the relevant details of your project and what you need by using the button below or by completing the form on our contact page. We will then collaborate with our coating partners in order to connect you with the right coating solution.

Antimicrobial coating companiesProductsApplications
AkzoNobel (Interpon)Interpon AM powdersHigh-touch surfaces such as doorknobs, bins and other metal surfaces.
PPGPPG Silversan antimicrobial powder coatingHigh-touch surfaces such as doorknobs, bins and other metal surfaces.
FlowcreteFlowfresh antimicrobial floor coating solutionsConcrete floors
BioCoteAntimicrobial additivesAntimicrobial coating for ductwork, floors and wall; integrated in plastic and metal products
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