Polymers are used in a wide variety of applications. Due to the large number of applications, the polymers must also have a wide variety of capabilities to function properly in the respective applications. For example, antimicrobial efficacy is also elementary in many areas to protect the material from microorganisms. Polymer applications that benefit greatly from antimicrobial capabilities include food conveyor belts, wound dressings, mattresses, films and many more.
AGXX represents the optimal technology for polymer applications, as the antimicrobial technology provides the material with sustainable antimicrobial properties.
Due to its innovative mechanism of action, AGXX shows excellent efficacy in water-absorbent polymers such as polyamide 6 types and polyurethanes. Its efficacy has been proven by tests conducted by Heraeus' partners.
Tests with different AGXX concentrations were carried out in PA6 and PA6/66. AGXX was incorporated into PA6 and PA6/66 granules using a screw extruder, which was then injection molded into sheets. Microbiological tests were performed with these sheets according to standardized ISO 22196 tests. The antimicrobial activity of the equipped material was tested against E.coli and S.aureus strains. All tested AGXX concentrations showed excellent antimicrobial activity, thus in all plates the bacterial concentration of E.coli and S.aureus strains was reduced by more than 99.9%. In addition to the excellent antimicrobial efficacy of the equipped PA6 and PA6/66 plates, good processability was observed for the AGXX-additivated plastics during extrusion and injection molding. Since no changes in processing parameters occurred compared to the AGXX-free reference, it can be assumed that the AGXX additive does not affect the manufacturing processes.
In addition to polyamides, AGXX was incorporated into PU flexible foam at different concentrations. After incorporation, antimicrobial efficacy tests and material tests were conducted with the equipped flexible foams. The antimicrobial particles can be easily incorporated into the foam and distributed homogeneously without affecting the foam structure of the polyurethane. To investigate the antimicrobial activity of the material, standardized ASTM E2149 tests were carried out, whereby the foam bodies were incubated in bacterial suspensions for 24 hours and the germ reduction was determined hourly. Here, testing was performed against E. coli and S. aureus strains.
The result of the ASTM test: All AGXX concentrations showed a significant germ reduction in contrast to the AGXX-free reference. In addition to investigating the antimicrobial efficacy of the equipped PU foams, material tests were also carried out. For this purpose, the compressive stress of the additivated PU foams was measured in compression tests directly after production and after one week of storage. The AGXX-additivated foams showed a slightly increased strength compared to the AGXX-free reference but behaved analogously to the reference after one week of storage.