Antimicrobial Compounds and Additives

When left untreated, microbes can proliferate and cause an array of issues like odors, stains, hospital infections and contaminated water. Antimicrobial additives help prevent the deterioration and fouling of textile fibers, fabrics, and molded articles. How? They make surfaces inhospitable to microbes, including bacteria, viruses, fungi and algae. Americhem works with a variety of antimicrobial compounds to treat surfaces and prohibit the growth of microbes on fabrics.

We are Your Antimicrobial Additives Provider

Americhem has a wide spectrum of materials from which to select to achieve antimicrobial activity in textiles and molded articles. When incorporated into materials, our antimicrobial additives can help prevent the breakdown of organic residues, make them inhospitable to microbes and promote sustainability. 

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2 Main Types of Antimicrobials Additives

Antimicrobial additives are active agents that will inhibit the life or growth of microbes when included in the processing of a material. They're typically characterized by broad spectrum efficacy, but they're limited by their inherent thermal properties. They can be classified into the following categories:

  1. Organics — These are relatively small molecules that are incompatible with the polymer matrix. The molecules interact with the microorganism and prevent its reproduction. Examples include Triclosan, quaternary ammonium compounds (QACs) and plant extracts.
  2. Inorganics — These additives are more likely to be incorporated into molded plastic products. They remain stored in the polymer, being released gradually to the surface and provide continual, long lasting protection. Examples include silver, copper and zinc. 

Benefits of Antimicrobial Compounds

There are numerous factors that drive the use of antimicrobial compounds. They can benefit a variety of hygiene-critical environments, such as food processing plants, healthcare facilities and schools.

Utilizing antimicrobial additives can result in cleaner, more robust and longer lasting products by means of:

  • Increasing the freshness and cleanliness of everyday items by resisting the growth of unpleasant mold and mildew.
  • Limiting the need for laundering by minimizing stain- and odor-causing bacteria.
  • Extending the lifespan of personal protective equipment (PPE), clothing and coverings.
  • Preserving plastics by inhibiting physical degradation from bacteria and fungi.
  • Reducing illness and infection-causing bacteria.

Antimicrobial Compound Applications

With their sustainable, preserving properties, antimicrobial additives are a perfect solution for many industries. They're commonly used in the following applications:

  • Healthcare. Antimicrobial plastics provide significant protection against the spread of healthcare associated infections (HAI.) This is particularly useful in instances when medical plastic items are inserted into the body and exposed to bodily fluids. Antimicrobial plastics can prevent bacteria from attaching to the surface of these items and inhibit bacteria's growth. 
  • Antiviral protection. Many antimicrobial additives can provide effective protection against viruses like Avian Influenza and Influenza B. 
  • Food packaging. Antimicrobial additives are used to inhibit, retard or inactivate the growth of microbes and extend the life of food products. Using silver ion technology, they can be incorporated into film materials and biodegradable polymers constructed from polylactic acids.
  • Sanitary. Antimicrobial plastics can inhibit bacteria growth and prevent bacteria from attaching to the surface of items such as bath tubs, showers, sinks, toilets, faucets, and light switches.
  • Mass transit. Antimicrobial plastics can inhibit bacteria growth and prevent bacteria from attaching to the surface of high touch point items on planes, trains, and busses such as handles, latches, trays, light switches, knobs, and dials.

Protect Your Fabrics & Textiles with Antimicrobial Additive Solutions from Americhem

Americhem is proud to work with premium antimicrobial compounds registered by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). As a globally trusted advisor, our business is rooted in shaping the future through innovative and sustainable antimicrobial additive solutions. If you're wondering about a specific application for a textile or want to know more about our services, contact us today! We're here to help you explore the possibilities and give you high quality results.