Acetals Double as Bug-Busters

Feb. 21, 2008
Designers have a new weapon to combat bacterial contamination in hot, wet environments that foster bacteria and fungus.

Anti- Crobe Antimicrobial Polymers are a family of acetal copolymers (POM), from Ticona, Florence, Ky. The new materials let designers give injection-mold parts antimicrobial properties. Evaluations of the new POMs show they inhibit microbial growth better than conventional acetals.

Ticona says Anti-Crobe AM90S Plus is a candidate for rapid bacterial control, while Anti-Crobe AM90S is appropriate in less-demanding situations.

“The advanced, inorganic antimicrobial formulation is present throughout the polymer, not just on the surface, and does not migrate significantly,” says Ticona spokesperson Davida Barrett. The benefit, of course, is that antimicrobial protection won’t scratch off.

Anti-Crobe Antimicrobial Polymers comply with FDA regulations for direct food contact, meet the NSF 61 Potable Water standard, and satisfy applicable EPA regulations. They are naturally white and can be tinted. They retain all traditional physical and mechanical properties associated with Hostaform and Celcon POMs. For example, they have a tensi le modulus of 2,600 MPa, a flexural modulus of 2,500 MPa, a tensile stress at yield of about 63 MPa, and a notched Charpy impact strength of 7 kJ/m2. They also have excellent dimensional stability, resist chemicals, and are inherently lubricious. They withstand continuous exposure to hot water at 82°C (180°F) and intermittent exposure to water at 100°C (212°F) or more.

The new materials work well in hard-to-clean wet areas and where polyolefins cannot meet performance specifications. They don’t, however, protect against diseasecausing (or food-borne) bacteria, and antimicrobial properties apply to the molded part only. Possible applications include food processing, automotive heating and air conditioning, medical devices, and appliances.

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