Antimicrobial Technologies

Microban utilizes a technology agnostic approach to product development by leveraging a broad range of organic, inorganic and organometallic technologies to provide you with the optimal solution for your unique product application.
Our engineers will work with you to determine your product’s antimicrobial performance needs, durability requirements, product usage conditions, product compatibility and regulatory approvals all of which can heavily influence the suitability of various antimicrobial technologies.

Antimicrobial Performance
Antimicrobial technologies vary in their effectiveness against bacteria and fungal microorganisms. We’ll recommend an antimicrobial technology or combination of technologies that will provide optimal antimicrobial performance for your product.


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THE RIGHT TECHNOLOGIES FOR THE RIGHT PRODUCTS 
Durability Requirements
Microban technologies are engineered to provide antimicrobial protection for the useful lifetime of the product.

Product Usage Conditions
Our engineers will consult with you to determine the conditions of product use, such as, water contact and/or immersion, food contact, skin contact and UV exposure.

Product Compatibility
Our experienced teams of polymer engineers and chemists will work with you to understand your product substrates, performance features and manufacturing processes to ensure compatibility.

Regulatory Approvals
Microban ensures that all recommended antimicrobial solutions have the appropriate end use regulatory approvals prior to commercialization.

Green Technologies
Our broad portfolio of technologies allows us to educate our partners on the green characteristics of various antimicrobial technologies, so that they can make informed decisions that are appropriate for their products and consumers.

Materials Engineering 
The Microban Materials Engineering group has extensive experience in engineering organic and inorganic antimicrobial technologies into a wide breadth of thermoplastic and thermoset systems. In addition, our engineers have a strong working knowledge of a wide variety of manufacturing techniques including injection molding, rotational molding, film and profile extrusion. This enables Microban engineers to develop antimicrobial solutions that will be compatible with both your materials and manufacturing processes and available equipment.

Our engineers also continue to screen new antimicrobial technologies using on-site developmental tools such as a 22-Ton injection molder and multiple twin screw extruders with strand and under water pelletization capabilities. These pieces of equipment allow our engineers to create developmental masterbatches and plaques, which can be further tested to confirm the viability of new antimicrobial technologies in various materials and production methods.

The in-depth knowledge and experience of our engineers and our on-site polymer analytical and development tools allow us to improve your speed to market and create minimal disruption to your current production process.

Analytical Lab 
The Microban Analytical Chemistry Lab utilizes state-of-the art analytical equipment to assist our polymer, ceramic and formulation chemists during the development process. Our analytical chemists extract antimicrobial additives from a product sample using high temperatures and pressures in a microwave extraction process. The levels of antimicrobial additive present in the sample can then be quantified by utilizing various analytical tools such as a High Pressure Liquid Chromatograph (HPLC), Liquid Chromatograph-Mass Spectrometer (LCMS), Gas Chromatograph-Mass Spectrometer (GCMS) or an Atomic Absorption Spectrophotometer (AA). The antimicrobial loading level found in the sample is compared to the target loading level and benchmarked against the microbiology efficacy results to optimize recommended antimicrobial loading levels for a given application. 

Microbiology Lab
A state-of-the art microbiology facility and an experienced staff of microbiologists allows Microban to provide rapid turn-around on antimicrobial testing, shortening development timelines and increasing your speed to market. The labs perform over 40,000 tests annually using industry standard testing methods designed for a wide range of product substrates and antimicrobial technologies.

Bacterial Testing Lab
The Bacterial Testing Lab performs a wide range of qualitative and quantitative industry standard test methods to validate antibacterial efficacy. Samples are evaluated for performance against both Gram positive and Gram negative bacteria to ensure broad spectrum antibacterial performance.

Fungal Testing Lab
The Fungal Testing Lab performs a wide range of industry standard test methods to validate antifungal efficacy. Samples can be evaluated utilizing nutrient challenge protocols or in the fungal chamber, which simulates environmental conditions.

What's a Microbe?
Microbes or microorganisms are living cells that are too small to be seen with the naked eye and must be viewed through a microscope. The naked eye is only able to detect the presence of microbes once they have multiplied to the hundreds of thousands. And under the right conditions, microbes can double in number every 15-20 minutes. Types of microorganisms include bacteria, algae and fungi or mold. Microban® antimicrobial product protection is engineered to protect products from bacteria, mold and in some cases algae that can cause stains, odors and product deterioration. Microban protection is not designed to protect users from disease causing microorganisms.

Bacteria
Billions of years ago, bacteria were among the earliest forms of life on Earth. Today, bacteria are present in the soil, in the air, in water, on plants and even on animals and humans. There’s no escaping the presence of bacteria and in fact, many of the bacteria we encounter are beneficial to the environment and even to the human body helping us to digest food for example. However, some bacteria can adversely affect the everyday products we use in our lives causing stains, odors and product deterioration.

Fungus
Early fossil records suggest that fungi have been on Earth for over 550 million years. And some experts estimate that today over 1.5 million fungus species exist. Common fungi include mushrooms, puffballs, truffles, yeasts and most mildews. Fungi are commonly referred to as mold and begin life as microscopic airborne spores that germinate on contact with the surface of a nonliving organic matter where moisture is present. Mold is then able to penetrate the organic material, secreting enzymes and absorbing water and the digested sugars and starches from the nutrient source. Mold spores are present everywhere in our indoor and outdoor environment and many of the products found in our homes provide rich nutrient sources. The best defense is prevention: control moisture in your home including high humidity levels and look for products that resist the growth of mold

Algae
Simple, plantlike microorganisms, algae are often classified at the phylum level according to their color, i.e. green, red, golden-brown and brown. Algae vary in size from microscopic algae to the largest forms such as seaweeds. While they can vary in habitat, most algae are found in fresh water or seawater. Algae use the energy of sunlight through the process of photosynthesis to make their own food. Algae produce more oxygen than all plants combined and play an invaluable role in our ecosystem. Humans have also found other uses for algae, as food for people and animals, as thickening agents in ice cream, in shampoos and even in some drugs. In some cases, they can however damage product surfaces for example your swimming pool filter, the hull of your boat, or the exterior of your home.

How Does Microban Protection Work?
Microban® technologies are built-in to a product during the manufacturing process and becomes an intrinsic part of the product inside and at the surface. When microbes, such as bacteria, mold and mildew that can cause stains, odors and product deterioration come in contact with the product surface, Microban protection penetrates the cell wall of the microbe and disrupts key cell functions so that the microbe cannot function, grow or reproduce.

Proven Effective
All products engineered with Microban protection undergo extensive testing in our microbiology and chemical analysis labs. In addition, Microban technology has been proven effective in over 20,000 tests at over 27 independent laboratories around the world. Using industry standard testing methods, the samples to the right demonstrate the effectiveness of Microban technology against bacteria that can cause stains, odors and product deterioration.

Bacteria performance
These samples were tested for efficacy against bacteria using the Kirby Bauer test method. Both samples were inoculated with bacteria and then photographed after 24 hours. The top sample was manufactured with Microban protection and the bottom sample was untreated. The sample with built-in Microban protection showed no growth. The untreated sample showed significant contamination. This information is based upon standard laboratory tests and is provided for comparative purposes to substantiate antimicrobial activity for non-public health applications. Microban product protection inhibits the growth of microorganisms that can cause stains, odors and product degradation.

Mold performance
These samples were tested for efficacy against mold using the AATCC Test Method 30, Part III. Both samples were inoculated with mold and then photographed after 7 days. The top sample was manufactured with Microban protection and the bottom sample was untreated. The sample with built-in Microban protection showed no growth on or around the sample. The untreated sample showed significant contamination. This information is based upon standard laboratory tests and is provided for comparative purposes to substantiate antimicrobial activity for non-public health applications. Microban product protection inhibits the growth of microorganisms that can cause stains, odors and product degradation.
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