GRAFE Advanced Polymers GmbH

Antimicrobial properties on bright-colored plastic materials

According information released by the Robert-Koch-Institute, 2,100 hospital-acquired cases of methicillin-resistant staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) infections have been reported in Germany in 2010. Due to this and other cases GRAFE Group has been working on the development of antimicrobial treatment of plastic materials for more than 10 years.

Traditional antimicrobial solutions using nanosilver, copper and silver ions alone or embedded in metal oxides and other fillers work well for thick-walled injection-molding and extrusion articles.
One of the main problems by using these materials consists in the offering of bright colors. The inherent color resulting from these metals is dark or light grey making it very difficult to dye into bright colors. In view of the high costs created by the additional antimicrobial treatment of plastic articles in hospitals, rehabilitation centers and health facilities, it is clear that clients and converters are unwilling to forgo the important aspect of color choice.

In a search for a solution to this challenge, GRAFE has implemented a solution which eliminates these drawbacks. The new development is based on substances supplied by austrian company AMISTec located in Kössen, Tirol. The benefits include highly effective and long-lasting antimicrobial and even algicide properties, a wide spectrum of activity and no induction of resistance so far. It is just as effective against multi-resistant pathogens such as MRSA, VRE and ESBL. The active substances are not based on nanoparticles and can not be activated by sweat or proteins. One of the most important nice-to-have is that plastic materials containing these substances can be bright colored.

Clients who are interested in an initial evaluation and implementation of this technology can take advantage of the service and support offered by GRAFE and AMISTec for initial sampling and lab testing (including antimicrobial treatment ) prior to serial production.