According to the “textbook” definition, antimicrobial fabrics and textiles are fiber-based substrates to which antimicrobial agents have been applied at the surface, or incorporated into the fibers, rendering a product that kills or inhibits the growth of microorganisms.
Several formulations available in a wide range of woven textiles and vinyls or polyurethane alternatives to vinyl are based on the bactericidal nature of silver. Examples include CF Stinson’s popular Agion line for healthcare settings.
Nano Technology Applied:
Another silver-based antimicrobial product is called Nanocide, and uses a treatment process whereby nanoscale silver particles are embedded into the material. The smaller the silver particles, the more silver ions they emit and the more unwelcome microbes are eliminated. Silver-enhanced antimicrobial products actively inhibit bacterial growth and show a 99.9% reduction in test microbes and common bacteria. Nanocide can be found in fabrics such as Nanotex, with similar technology applied to Crypton’s Green institutional and health care coverings.
Hi Ho Silver:
Another popular silver-based antimicrobial covering suited for use in healthcare settings, is SilverTex vinyl, coated with Silverguard topcoat, and available locally at our favorite textile supplier. Silver ions engineered into the unique chemistry of Silverguard are highly effective against bacteria because they destroy microorganisms through multiple paths. Silverguard attacks the bacteria cell wall, disrupts protein metabolism within the cell, and forms complexes with other biomolecules in the cell to alter cell functions. These ions are slowly released out of their inorganic matrix in the presence of moisture. Silverguard is released as needed to effectively control bacterial growth while leaving sufficient quantities of Silverguard to retain antibacterial protection.
So, there’s no shortage of silver-impregnated textiles and vinyls to choose from for any commercial, institutional or healthcare setting. But how do you know which one to use? Contact us to discuss the architectural characteristics of each fabric type. In the healthcare and commercial environment, durability goes a long way to offering protection.