Antimicrobial TPEs for high-touch plastic surfaces

Three proprietary thermoplastic elastomer (TPE) formulations containing antimicrobial additives have been developed by Avient Corp. newly added to the GLS TPE portfolio. Tested to JIS Z2801 and ASTM G21-15 standards, these antimicrobial additives have been shown to protect molded plastic parts by inhibiting bacterial growth (99.9 percent or more) and resisting fungal and mold growth.

Surfaces and high-contact applications are particularly susceptible to such microorganisms, which can potentially cause odor problems and also cause adverse changes in the aesthetics and mechanical properties of a finished plastic part. This prompted Avient to develop GLS-TPEs with antimicrobial additives available as Versaflex and OnFlex grades. Applications include consumer electronics, personal care handles, and automotive applications such as cup holder mats and HVAC seals.

GLS TPEs with antimicrobial additives can help extend the useful life of a product, resulting in less need for replacement. Further benefits are the preserved surface integrity, increased durability and minimized odors for a better consumer experience.

Tested against common microbes, GLS TPEs with antimicrobial additives have reportedly proven to protect finished parts from microbial growth on both textured and smooth surfaces. They are formulated with an EPA registered antimicrobial agent by a trusted leader in microbial control solutions, Lonza LLC. This additive chemistry has been used in personal care products such as anti-dandruff shampoo for decades.

GLS TPEs with antimicrobial additives are commercially available in the USA and Asia. Other antimicrobial formulations are in development.

Matt Mitchell, Director, Global Marketing of Avient’s Specialty Engineered Maerials, said, “Products can now be developed with TPEs that help extend useful life by inhibiting microbial growth, and these reformulated materials also deliver the performance they need our TPE brand GLS stands. ”

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