Swiss masterbatch producer Sukano says it has developed an innovative masterbatch that demonstrates a strong antiviral effect on plastic parts made from PET and PA.
Many viruses have shown they are able to survive on various surfaces, including metal wood and plastics, making door knobs, banisters, light switches and much more, potential sources of contamination.
The new Antiviral Masterbatches, based on proprietary technology, work by directly integrating an antiviral additive into the polymer - in the case of fibres, when spinning. The additive is therefore consistently present on the surface of the product, without being released into the environment.
As a result, the antiviral effect not only remains stable during the usage of the product, but is sustained after multiple washing cycles.
Test performed in accordance with ISO 18184:2019 (fabrics) and ISO 21702:2019 (plastics inject moulded parts and films) at an external laboratory specialised in microbiological testing independently confirmed the effectiveness of its antiviral effect on the plastic parts: over 98 % of the Feline Coronavirus was eliminated within the first two hours.
The tests were conducted using the Influenza H1N1 virus and a Feline Coronavirus, which has structures and mechanisms similar to SARS-Cov-2.
According to Sukano, its Antiviral Masterbatches for PET and PA applications are the only known masterbatch technologies that have been independently proven to be effective against viruses at different dosage levels, polymers and conversion processes.
Potential applications include personal protective equipment (PPE), such r face masks. There are a variety of masks available in the market, all of which are made from different layers of textiles. How a fabric mask is handled and cared for is understood to be one of the key factors in its effectiveness, regardless of whether it is disposable or reusable.
Currently, reusable non-medical masks - the type worn by many consumers - are typically made from fibres without antiviral properties. Manufacturing textile masks using fabrics incorporating the new antiviral masterbatch could help reduce viral contamination via surfaces, even if the mask is not washed after each usage.
The active ingredient is a registered preservative in the EU, Switzerland and USA. One caveat: to claim antiviral effect and promote the final product, producers using Sukano’s Antiviral Masterbatches must test the final product, have the results confirmed by a specialised external laboratory, and must comply with local legal regulations.