Technology

Silver-treated bactericidal tiles

05/06/2020

Metco is launching its Nobacter05 surface treatment onto the global market. This solution halts the proliferation of colonies of microorganisms, raising the hygiene level of a ceramic surface from bacteriostatic to bactericidal.

Following years of research and industrial application, Metco is launching its Nobacter05 surface treatment onto the global market.

This solution uses a combined chemical and physical action to halt the proliferation of colonies of microorganisms, raising the hygiene level of a ceramic surface from bacteriostatic to bactericidal. The active chemical and physical treatment delivers results that are certified as excellent by top Italian universities. Moreover, its effectiveness is never depleted which means it is a permanent solution.

The bactericidal properties of silver derive from its ability to bind with proteins in the bacterium’s cell membrane, reducing the membrane’s permeability to oxygen and preventing the cell from breathing.

Nobacter05 is a colourless compound which is sprayed onto the tile before final firing. By interacting with the glassy mass, it penetrates inside the ceramic material and creates permanent active bactericidal centres.

Nobacter05 is a silver-enriched metal complex that performs its bactericidal function most effectively when placed in contact with the bacterium, which is why it is important for the active centres to be on the surface. An excessively “vitreous” glaze mass might completely encase the Silver, preventing it from coming into contact with the bacterium and making the protective coating ineffective. This is why it is essential to carry out surface lapping or polishing after applying the treatment.

The product’s bactericidal capacity derives from the contact between the metal and environmental humidity, which irreversibly “burns” and destroys the bacterial cell.

In order to maintain their effectiveness over time, surfaces must be cleaned regularly with normal cleaning products as the accumulation of inactive molecules, while invisible to the naked eye, will gradually create a biofilm barrier that reduces the effectiveness of the treatment.

It is interesting to focus on the results of tests conducted by two of the most prestigious Italian universities, which have shown that it eliminates the common bacteria Staphylococcus aureus and Escherichia coli.

A first test was conducted at the University of Pavia (Department of Molecular Medicine, A. Castellani Biochemistry Unit) by Prof. Livia Visai PhD, which certified a drastic reduction in the vitality of the above-mentioned bacteria after just 3 hours and almost 99% inactivation after 24 hours.

A second test was carried out at the University of Bologna (Department of Pharmacy and Biotechnology directed by Prof. Alberto Danielli) and compared a surface treated with Nobacter05 with an untreated surface. In short, the tests showed that 99.9% of the bacterial culture applied to the sample was effectively inactive after just 3 hours, a result that confirms the bactericidal properties of the technical porcelain tile treated with Nobacter05.

Two major ceramic groups, one in Italy and the other outside Europe, have used Nobacter05 in the last five years as part of an exclusive sector agreement. Through this certified technical offering, both manufacturers succeeded in creating a highly specialised market in both the residential and functional building sectors.

Finally, it is worth pointing out that aesthetic qualities of the tile’s surface pattern or design are in no way affected by the use of Nobacter05, as it is a colourless product that does not alter the colour or material properties of the ceramic surface.

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