R&D Antiviral Coating

Resource efficiency with environmentally friendly technology

The innovation of this project is to produce coatings that have a very high resistance and permanent antiviral effectiveness and can be applied to existing surfaces at any time, even retroactively.

Due to the current pandemic, it is important to keep the exposure to viruses on surfaces as low as possible. Studies on different materials have shown that halving surface colonisation with SARS-COVID-19 can take more than 16 hours. Consequently, it makes sense to create antivirally effective surfaces that immediately reduce or kill the viruses.

Previous surface finishes with antiviral activity on the market are mostly based on the successive release of metal ions, nanoparticulate metal (e.g. silver) or organic active ingredients. As a result, the active substances are consumed over time and the coatings have to be renewed after a certain period of time. Another negative effect is that these active substances get into the environment. There they can have a harmful effect on organisms. The toxicity for water organisms of silver ions and nanoparticulate silver has already been proven in several studies.

In contrast to previous products, in our approach of photocatalysis the catalyst is firmly bound in the coating matrix and the effect is based on the generation of mobile highly reactive hydroxyl radicals that react/disintegrate immediately. This means that no environmentally toxic substances can be released into the environment. The advantage is therefore that the materials have a killing effect on viruses without being consumed and do not release harmful active substances into the environment.

By using newly developed photocatalysts, they are activated with existing light sources or daylight. UV light sources are no longer needed. By activating the active mechanism, viruses in the air, e.g. in aerosols and droplets, can also be destroyed when they hit the surface (during the diffusion process). This can reduce the air pollution by viruses, e.g. in hospitals and many public facilities, to a certain extent.

The project is being developed in cooperation with partner companies and renowned organisations for the promotion of applied research. This enables the constant exchange of ideas and access to the latest findings and technologies.

A project that has been contributing to the promotion policy goal of the health technology thematic area since 2021.