Cold copper spraying 3D printing process allows creating “killing” coronavirus surfaces.
Australian company SPEE3D successfully designed and tested the fast and cheap process of 3D printing anti-microbial copper coating on metal surfaces, called ACTIVAT3D.
Laboratory tests have shown that the resulting coating “kills” 96% of COVID-19 viruses in just two hours on any plastic and metal surface.
Copper is known to have antimicrobial properties. There is at least one published study showing that although the coronavirus can live for several days on plastic and steel surfaces, it dies on a copper surface in less than four hours.
The ACTIVAT3D process was developed by SPEE3D by modifying its technology for metal 3D printing using cold spraying. The advantage of this approach is that since the process is cold, it can be modified to coat both metal and plastic surfaces. And the processing part of details such as door handles or opening panels takes only 5 minutes.
How copper kills the bacteria
Although it is still unknown how specifically the copper destroys the virus, the laboratory evidence is convincing — bacteria and viruses die on copper surfaces.
- When a microbe hits the surface of copper, it creates ions. They are electrically charged particles.
- Copper ions come in contact with water and oxygen to form reactive oxygen.
- Copper ions and reactive oxygen destroy external membranes and completely destroy the cell, which includes DNA or RNA molecules.
Since their DNA and RNA molecules are destroyed, it follows that bacteria or viruses cannot mutate and become steady to copper or pass genes to other germs.
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