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Covid response

Antiviral surfaces and materials

Understanding and minimising the risks

NPL has carried out a thorough review of research and scientific publications, to check the current state of knowledge, research and practices on antiviral surfaces and coatings. Whilst anti-bacterial properties have been examined closely in the past, the antiviral properties are less well understood and often quite different. The review covered a range of materials including metals, polymers and biopolymers, graphene and a range of physical surface properties. It aimed to understand the mechanisms of antiviral properties at the molecular level and covered the current experiences of using these materials.  

The information will help the materials selection for future applications, including public buildings and transportation. NPL has experts in materials and surface technology, as well as the analytical techniques and will give useful practical information to customers. 

3D printing antiviral materials

3D printing typically involves heating a solid material to approximately 200 °C which reduces any antiviral agents that may be present. NPL has developed a resin alternative which has the potential to require less cleaning and hence less abrasion which could reduce the antiviral properties of the material.

Evaluating the performance of antiviral sprays and liquids

Materials used in public spaces are increasingly being cleaned with antiviral sprays to reduce the Covid-19 risks. NPL is working to understand the impact of using the antiviral sprays on a range of materials, particular how often the cleaning is required and how it may influence the material itself from the chemical perspective and in terms of wear. The active ingredient in antiviral sprays needs water to be effective so hydrophobicity testing is critical.

Applying antiviral ‘wraps’ to critical objects

This would allow effective antiviral properties to be added to existing objects and structures.

If you would like to discuss further, please contact us.

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Impact during Covid-19

  • Giving unique practical information on material selection to take antiviral properties into account
  • Investigating a framework for characterisation of antiviral materials
  • Developing new technologies and materials with antiviral properties

NPL has a broad range of related activities

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