The market for antimicrobial coatings is on the fast track, both in terms of total market size and technology evolution and development.
That’s the conclusion of a recently issued study, “Anti-Microbial Coatings: A U.S. Market Report,” which forecasts that the U.S. market for such coatings will accelerate dramatically from an estimated $524.6 million in 2011 to $1.26 billion in 2017.
HKS Architects Inc.
|Uses of antimicrobial coatings are “mushrooming” in a range of markets, although healthcare and the “indoor air quality” segments are the primary use areas.|
But the rapid growth curve is only part of the story, says report source Global Industry Analysts Inc. (San Jose, Calif.) The antimicrobial-coatings market is described as “an evolving sphere,” faced with a developing regulatory structure that will steer production and product safety, the report asserts.
“With an eye on environmental wholesomeness, manufacturers are presently engaged in high-profile research and development of anti-microbial coatings with enhanced capabilities,” the authors say. Demand is “especially pronounced” for antimicrobial formulations and compounds that are non-toxic, safe, stable with zero emissions, non-migratory, and FDA approved.
Antimicrobial materials that make use of silver ions are given considerable attention in the report.
Uses of antimicrobial coatings are “mushrooming” in a range of markets, including healthcare, industrial and consumer, although healthcare and the “indoor air quality” markets represent the biggest end-use segments. Interest is driven by these technologies’ potential for combating bacteria, mold, mildew, and other infection-causing pathogens.
Global Industry analysts provided D+D News with a look at a few key excerpts from the report, focusing on significant market and technology developments. Highlights of these excerpts follow.
The Significance of Silver
The use of silver for anticmicrobial functionality has commanded attention as a “breakthrough” technology. Antimicrobial compounds containing silver generally incorporate silver ions encapsulated within a zeolite matrix.
Silver ions act as an effective microbial inhibitor by damaging the microbe's cell wall and interfering with its RNA replication process. The ions additionally hamper respiration in microbes through oxidization.
Cases of sick building syndrome—a term used to describe acute health conditions suffered by building occupants with no apparent underlying illness or disease—continue to increase. Contaminated ductwork is a primary source for indoor pollution. Antimicrobial coatings are being applied to metal substrates in HVAC products with advances noted in coatings compatible with both carbon steel and stainless steel.
A common shielding mechanism in these coatings is silver ions, which are released intermittently when bacteria, molds, fungi, and other organisms come in contact with the steel. The coating is designed to provide continuous protection that lasts throughout the equipment's lifetime.
A typical approach is incorporation in an epoxy coating as a means of ensuring durability, efficacy and ion mobility.
Biological and chemical contamination in modern buildings and homes is generating keen interest in indoor air-quality services and products. Antimicrobial coatings are applied to interior wall cavities, floor joints and ceiling rafters, even before completion of construction, as a way to eliminate possible microbial nutrient sources for mold growth.
The Emergence of Nanotechnology
Nanotechnology offers the potential for expanded use of silver in paints and coatings as a way to address the challenges presented by large particle size. Nanotechnology is reported to increase the total surface area available for antimicrobial functionality.
Manufacturers of antimicrobial coatings and coating ingredients will do battle for a share of this expanding but technologically challenging market. Key players profiled in the report include AcryMed Inc., AEGIS Environments, AK Coatings Inc., BBJ Environmental Technologies Inc., Cupron Inc., Dow Microbial Control, Fosters Products Corp., EnviroCare Corp., Fiberlock Technologies Inc., HaloSource Inc., Microban International Ltd., Sciessent LLC, Specialty Coatings Company Inc., Sureshield Coatings Company, and Troy Corp.
More information: Antimicrobial Coatings: A U.S. Market Report.
More information on Global Industry Analysts Inc.: www.strategyr.com.