Glass and ceramics giant Corning has announced new coatings technology – called Guardiant – its says has been shown in tests to kill the SARS-CoV-2 virus.
The coating contains copper – a metal known to have antimicrobial properties that has already been touted by lesser-known manufacturers as counter-measure to COVID-19 transmission.
The company says Guardiant antimicrobial particles were shown in lab testing to kill more than 99% of bacteria and viruses, including COVID-19, in two hours or less.
Says the PR:
The tests provide the first demonstration of highly durable antimicrobial activity against SARS-CoV-2. The demonstrated antimicrobial efficacy remained active even after tests simulating six years of scrubbing. The tests were designed to account for the cleaning that a surface could be subjected to over time.
“We strive to create innovations that make the world a better place,” says Wendell P. Weeks, chairman and chief executive officer, Corning Incorporated. “Our scientists have developed this unique paint additive using our highly engineered glass-ceramic technology. We are excited about the new lab results and look forward to working with our valued partner PPG.”
Corning is working alongside PPG as it seeks EPA registration for its paint product formulated with Corning Guardiant.
Two hour kill is not instant-kill, so Guardiant would not nullify the risks presented using, for example, a self-service order screen or wayfinding-lookup directory that gets used dozens of times in an hour.
If someone carrying the virus used a screen, and then wobbled off, the assertion is that the surface would stop the virus from growing and kill it in two hours or so. But the next people in line using the screen AFTER that carrier would not be protected.
On the other hand, it would be another piece of the safety puzzle and perhaps make consumers a little less antsy about touch surfaces.
While touchscreens were thought to be a dead technology because of the pandemic, in the intervening months touch technology has held its own. A touch overlay is just another surface, and a lot of the retailers, QSRs and other companies that use them have concluded asking consumers to use a machine instead of talking to staff is, on balance, safer.
The PR continues:
The results of SARS-CoV-2 testing on coatings containing Corning Guardiant were recently obtained by Dr. Luisa Ikner in Professor Charles Gerba’s lab at the University of Arizona. Following U.S. EPA recommendations that test methods mimic in-use conditions for antimicrobial surface materials seeking claims against harmful germs, the lab used stringent test methods that simulated realistic contamination, which is dry and invisible.
In addition to the SARS-CoV-2 results, Corning has also published research on Corning Guardiant demonstrating kill of other bacteria and viruses with greater than 99.9% efficacy in under two hours, including gram positive bacteria (such as Staphylococcus aureus), gram negative bacteria (such as Pseudomonas aeruginosa), and non-enveloped viruses (such as murine norovirus, which belongs to the hardest-to-kill class of viruses in terms of its susceptibility to disinfectants).
Coatings containing additives such as silver and zinc pass traditional “wet” contamination test methods, but do not perform well under dry test conditions. Coatings containing organic antimicrobial agents such as “Quats,” scientific literature suggests, have limited effectiveness against non-enveloped viruses. Coatings containing Corning Guardiant have distinctly demonstrated effectiveness under both wet and dry test conditions.
First time I have used quats in a post!
There are at least a couple of other companies out there with similar-sounding solutions – NanoVeu and Kastus. The former uses copper, as well, and I THINK Kastus might, too.
This post from earlier in the year goes into a lot of this stuff.
Dave Haynes is the founder and editor of Sixteen:Nine, an online publication that has followed the digital signage industry for some 14 years. Dave does strategic advisory consulting work for many end-users and vendors, and also writes for many of them. He’s based near Halifax, Nova Scotia, on Canada’s east coast.