Including the most effective and durable antimicrobial material in your products can give you the competitive edge for hygiene-sensitive markets.
Bacteria and viruses present problems where there are sick or vulnerable people, where many people gather or where contamination sensitive products are manufactured. Disease-causing microbes can survive on environmental surfaces and remain infective for hours, days, even months, and these can serve as reservoirs of infection, waiting to be transferred by touch. But these microbes can't survive on copper or the many copper alloys covered by the umbrella term 'Antimicrobial Copper’.
Antimicrobial Copper isn't just pure copper, it's shorthand for a host of copper alloys that can be formed into durable, easy-to-clean, affordable touch surfaces available in a variety of colours and finish options. With over 500 approved commercial alloys, an array of colour, form and finish options are available to satisfy diverse design needs.
Antimicrobial Copper has rapid, broad-spectrum efficacy against bacteria, viruses, moulds and fungi. This makes it the material of choice for touch surfaces and HVAC components to reduce microbial contamination and lower the risk of transmission of infection.
Three main characteristics make it a superior touch surface material:
Superior physical properties
The right Antimicrobial Copper alloy can go head to head with steel in terms of strength and durability. In addition to their antimicrobial properties, Antimicrobial Copper alloys are:
- Can stand up to harsh environments
- Can retain details and finish over time.
Flexible manufacturing capabilities
Copper is a well-known material and has been used for centuries. It is no surprise that Antimicrobial Copper alloys are extremely versatile and can be manufactured using a variety of conventional metal manufacturing processes including:
Antimicrobial Copper manufacturing costs are very competitive when compared to other materials. Some of the contributing factors are:
- Easily fabricated
- More parts per minute
- Longer tool life
- Completely recyclable.
Want to use copper?
- Consider your products in terms of touch and design copper alloys into key areas
- Further your understanding of the copper alloy families by reading the Antimicrobial Copper Alloys - Guidance on Selection brochure
- Select an approved alloy from the list in the Conditions of Use.
- Find a supplier - this may be your usual metal stockist or check the directory of suppliers of approved alloys.
Information on alloy properties and specifications, including cross references, can be found here.
Copper and copper alloys are engineering materials that are durable, colourful and recyclable and are widely available in various product forms suitable for a range of manufacturing purposes. Copper and its alloys offer a suite of materials for designers of functional, sustainable and cost-effective products.
Copper and certain copper alloys have intrinsic antimicrobial properties (so-called ‘Antimicrobial Copper’) and products made from these materials have an additional, secondary benefit of contributing to hygienic design. Products made from Antimicrobial Copper are a supplement to, not a substitute for standard infection control practices. It is essential that current hygiene practices are continued, including those related to the cleaning and disinfection of environmental surfaces.