Avient has announced the addition of three proprietary, thermoplastic elastomer formulations that contain antimicrobial additives to its GLS TPE portfolio. Tested in accordance with JIS Z2801 and ASTM G21-15 standards, these additives are said to protect molded plastic parts by inhibiting bacterial growth (99.9 % or more) and resisting fungal and mold growth. In addition to potentially causing odor issues, these microrganisms can cause detrimental aesthetic and mechanical property changes to a finished plastic part. High-touch surfaces and applications are especially vulnerable. In response, Avient developed GLS TPEs with antimicrobial additives, available as Versaflex and OnFlex grades. Potential applications include consumer electronics, personal care item grips, and automotive applications such as cup holder mats and HVAC seals.
The company points out that GLS TPEs with antimicrobial additives can help extend a product’s useful life, which results in a reduced need to replace it. Additional benefits include preserved surface integrity, increased durability, and minimized odors for a better consumer experience.
Tested against common microbes, GLS TPEs with antimicrobial additives are proven to protect finished parts from microbial growth on both textured and smooth surfaces. They are formulated with an EPA-registered antimicrobial from Lonza LLC. This additive chemistry is the same one that has been used for decades in personal care products such as anti-dandruff shampoo.
GLS TPEs with antimicrobial additives are commercially available in the United States and Asia. Additional antimicrobial-containing formulations are in development.