The days of paint merely being a means of beautifying our homes, workplace and surroundings are a thing of the past. New and exciting technology that converts these paints into smart coatings that can fight bacteria or have a cooling effect are heralding a new era for paint manufacturers.
According to Plascon technical executive, Bobby Bhugwandin, paint manufacturers locally and globally are now looking for ways of introducing technology into paints and coatings so that they offer the end-user more benefits aside from the traditional elements of protection and aesthetics.
An example of this is Plascon’s Biodefence silver technology, which has been incorporated into Plascon Professional Hygiene Low Sheen Paint. Biodefence is a locally developed trademarked innovation by Plascon that is currently being used in their specially formulated paints.
“For hygienically sensitive areas in hospitals, food and drink preparation areas, crèches, clinics, toilets and other public areas where infection or cross-contamination could occur, Biodefence reduces the bacterial load on surfaces such as walls, thus preventing the further spreading of germs,” says Bhugwandin.
This development represents quite a significant improvement on previous technologies, which were only effective against yeast and fungi. Now, with the addition of silver, they are effective against certain types of bacteria as well.
Biodefence has been proven to either kill or make bacteria inactive within six hours. The silver ions work by breaking through the cell wall of the bacteria, disrupting its respiration and ultimately preventing further reproduction. Silver is also stable and cost-effective enough for commercial use, which has made it an obvious hygiene choice.
In developing the technology, Plascon wanted to ensure that the effectiveness of Biodefence did not diminish over time. It was imperative that it was hard-wearing and resistant to constant washing and disinfecting. The silver ions were therefore incorporated into the actual paint, ensuring that each time the surface is cleaned a new layer of silver ions are exposed, renewing the paint’s effectiveness.
“It is important, however, to emphasise that even though Biodefence and similar systems do keep surfaces healthier for longer, they do not replace regular hygiene practices,” comments Bhugwandin. “It should rather be seen as a support or back-up system that improves the overall cleanliness of the area, whether it is an operating theatre, cooking area or public area.”
Bhugwandin explains that the next step will be to make these types of coatings solvent-free, to reduce the bacterial count in a shorter time and for it to be active against a broader spectrum of germs.
Plascon Professional Hygiene Low Sheen Paint has already been used in several high profile sites, including the Cardiac ICU at Tygerberg Academic Hospital and the Foodbank in Cape Town.
“It is all about pushing innovation and approaching paint differently. We will continue to focus our research and development efforts to create products that improve the lives of our customers, whilst at the same time reducing the negative effects of coatings on the environment. Plascon pioneered the concept of solvent-free coatings in South Africa and we will continue to push the boundaries of paint formulating to uplift the quality of paint locally, while providing as many benefits as possible for our customers,” says Bhugwandin.
He adds that current research and development is focussed on energy-efficiency, insulation, pollution-reducing coatings and self-priming.
For more information contact the Plascon Advisory Centre
Tel: 0860 20 40 60
visit www.plascontrade.co.za or www.plascon.co.za