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Scientists creates antibacterial geopolymer for the construction industry

Date:
April 8, 2016
Source:
Investigación y Desarrollo
Summary:
A new resin inhibits growth, reproduction and transfer of yeast and fungi, and used as cement it can adhere to metal surfaces, glass or ceramics.
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Sample of Antibac polymer.
Credit: Image courtesy of Investigación y Desarrollo

Developed by a Mexican specialists, this resin inhibits growth, reproduction and transfer of yeast and fungi, used as cement it can adhere to metal surfaces, glass or ceramics.

Through an antibacterial geopolymer, called Antibac, researchers at the Universidad Michoacana de San Nicolás de Hidalgo (UMSNH), in Mexico, were able to repel pathogens. It has a lot of potential in the construction industry.

The polymer is an inorganic resin that inhibits development, growth, reproduction and general existence of bacteria, yeasts and fungi; used as a cement, it can adhere to metal surfaces, ceramics or glass and maintain the area free of harmful microorganisms, said Dr. Jose Carlos Rubio creator of the technology.

He explained that the material has a duration of approximately one hundred years, is resistant to acids and water, and does not discolor because it endures solar radiation. "The natural color is cream, but we can add any pigment and adapt it to the customer's needs."

Its antibacterial effect makes it ideal for hospitals, restaurants or the food processing industry, but it can also be used in the home because it costs less than 10 dollars per square meter, making it cheap compared to current synthetic coatings.

The product can be placed on any surface just like a construction paste, setting in just 24 hours.

The material consists of clay and sea sand dissolved in an aqueous solution and a biocidal agent in the form of small microscopic glass that inhibits bacterial growth.

The inorganic resin, once solidified, traps in a "cage" the antibacterial microcrystals, keeping them enclosed, but allowing the interaction with pathogens; these microorganisms, when contacting the geopolymer, get stuck because its high affinity to the microcrystals, so no contact transference is allowed with other materials. The microorganisms then get removed by existing diffusion or any simple cleaner.

In traditional polymers, "if someone sneezes on the table, the bacteria remain on the surface and can transfer to anything that touches it, in this sense the surface is a vector for the pathogens," said Dr. Jose Rubio.

Moreover, the product is not harmful to the environment because during the manufacturing process no volatile organic compounds are generated, only water vapor.

The technology already has a patent and to start its production, the researcher at the UMSNH is looking for investors.


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Investigación y Desarrollo. "Scientists creates antibacterial geopolymer for the construction industry." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 8 April 2016. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2016/04/160408102227.htm>.
Investigación y Desarrollo. (2016, April 8). Scientists creates antibacterial geopolymer for the construction industry. ScienceDaily. Retrieved May 26, 2017 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2016/04/160408102227.htm
Investigación y Desarrollo. "Scientists creates antibacterial geopolymer for the construction industry." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2016/04/160408102227.htm (accessed May 26, 2017).

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