SAFETY, HEALTH AND THE ENVIRONMENT: SURFACES GROUP LAUNCHES THE NOCOAT LINE OF TREATMENTS WITH ANTIBACTERIAL PROPERTIES
“Nowadays we are concerned not only to improve surfaces’ cleanability but also to make them superglossy, anti-slip and water-repellent, and to give them antibacterial properties as well. This is a growing demand from the market, which has to consider all our health and safety, bearing in mind that we come into contact with countless surfaces every day.”
These are the words of Giuseppe Soli, General Manager of NoCoat, the Surfaces Group brand specialized in surface treatment and protection products specifically developed to enhance the protection and functional properties of ceramic surfaces. Well known and very popular both in Italy and on the main export markets, NoCoat products are manufactured in Sassuolo, the heart of the ceramics district and the new headquarters of the Surfaces Group, home to its chemical treatment production, sales and logistics functions.
This new line extends the performances of the standard range while maintaining all its treatment properties undiminished. The aim was to create a product with antibacterial properties that would maintain the protective efficacy developed for each Customer over time and also function on polished and lapped slabs, with the added benefit of antibacterial protection.
The result is the ANTIBACTERIAL FORMULA range in the following lines:
GLOSS, for products used in ambient temperature treatments
SUPERGLOSS, for products used in Supershine surfaces
ZERO GLOSS for satin finished surfaces.
Months of research and testing in partnership with a group of Italian universities have paid off: today, Surfaces Group company NoCoat presents a stain-proofing pore-filling treatment enhanced by antibacterial properties, thanks to the combined action of silver ions with special additives that block the proliferation of pathogens, bacteria, microbes, molds and fungi that come into contact with the surface, and eliminate any already present.
Nano-particles of Silver (Ag) and nano-compounds are the most widely used antimicrobial nanoparticles and are effective biocides against a wide range of Gram-positive and Gram-negative microorganisms, fungi, molds and viruses.
Their action is based mainly on the following mechanisms:
- release of Silver (Ag+) ions which bond with electron donor units in molecules containing Sulphur, Oxygen or Nitrogen atoms
- interruption of the DNA replication process
- oxidation stress, through the formation of reactive types of oxygen.
In fact, Silver has a broader spectrum of antimicrobial action than many antibiotics. Its bactericide action is effective even at low doses and prevents bacteria from building up bio-resistance against this action.
The NoCoat – Surfaces Group Antibacterial technology is able to deliver anti-wear and antibacterial properties with a single treatment, since the filled pores contain the particles which combat pathogen formation.
Tests performed in accordance with the international ISO 22196:2011 standard have proved the treatment to be effective in any lighting conditions (sunlight, LED, artificial light), even with low light levels and in the dark, and reveal that the bacterial load already drops considerably after just one hour of contact with treated surfaces, continuing to decrease in subsequent hours to a value of 99.99% efficacy.
In view of the brilliant results achieved in the tests at the university laboratories, NoCoat has also started the important phase of testing of this product on Customers’ production lines.
The treatment can be applied in two ways depending on requirements:
- The ambient temperature system, in which the treatment is applied with Fill-it and then brushed,
- The Supergloss system, for Supershine machinery.
In both cases, treatments have proved perfectly compatible with plants already using the standard NoCoat products. The Customer has not reported any application problems, or changes in the usual surface protection, a very important and strategic result, since it proves that the new treatments are perfectly compatible with the plants already in use. “This was the most crucial factor for us: we wanted to supply added protection while maintaining all the qualities for which our products are well known and liked, without creating difficulties in production lines,” Giuseppe Soli explained, continuing, “Our goal was to offer the ceramics industry the opportunity for antibacterial properties even on surface finishes achieved by lapping and polishing processes, and thus enhance ceramics with a new function. In fact, we are firmly convinced that these standards are a resource of fundamental importance, meeting a strongly felt need and demand, especially for locations and intended uses where ceramic coverings are a functional furnishing feature, in kitchens, bars, public places in general and health care facilities in particular.”
The NoCoat – Surfaces Group GLOSS and SUPERGLOSS line treatments are already certified VOC FREE, meaning they do not contain formaldehyde, benzene or other volatile organic compounds harmful to man, and they have also received Italian “MOCA” food-contact conformity, confirming their suitability for use on surfaces in contact with foods, such as kitchen worktops and tables.
“We have taken another big step towards safeguarding and protecting people and the environment, by providing architects with ceramic slabs that deliver impressive performances in terms of looks, resistance, easy cleaning, maintenance and today also antibacterial properties, making them the material of choice for building the cities of the future,” Giuseppe Soli concludes.