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Can Paint Kill COVID?

18 November, 2020

While work continues towards developing a COVID-19 vaccine, the coatings industry is doing its part as well. Corning Incorporated recently announced a new breakthrough in glass-ceramic technology called Corning® Guardiant® that has shown effectiveness in killing the COVID-19 virus. Under test methods approved by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), paint and coatings containing Corning Guardiant were shown to kill more than 99.9% of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, in under two hours. Corning will be working alongside PPG as it seeks EPA registration for its paint product.

Tests with the active ingredient in Guardiant provided the first demonstration of highly durable antimicrobial activity against SARS-CoV-2. That ingredient remained active even after tests simulating six years of scrubbing which were designed to account for the cleaning that a surface could be subjected to over time.

Copper Power

Corning Guardiant contains copper, which has been shown to exhibit antimicrobial efficacy when applied to surfaces, consistently reducing germs on contact. The product keeps the most effective form of copper readily available for reducing harmful germs.

PPG is hoping to get a coating to market soon. “Following registration with the EPA, PPG plans to introduce an antiviral paint product, COPPER ARMOR™, with Corning Guardiant technology,” said Eric Stevenson, PPG directorm product management, “PPG plans to file its application with the EPA soon, in hopes that the product could be available in the coming months to help fight against the spread of COVID-19 throughout the winter season. We will have more information on the PPG product at that time.”

This coating will help contractors who are working in commercial entities. “Facility managers who make key decisions for hospitals, assisted living centers, schools and other similar spaces that can pose a higher health risk will benefit from PPG’s COPPER ARMOR paint as an additional safeguard from the Coronavirus,” said Stevenson.

Extra Effectiveness

Guardiant is effective in both wet and dry conditions, which makes it more effective than other types of coatings. Coatings containing additives such as silver and zinc pass traditional wet contamination test methods, but do not perform well under dry test conditions, Corning reports. Coatings containing organic antimicrobial agents such as “Quats” (quaternary ammonium compounds, which also have disinfectant properties), scientific literature suggests, have limited effectiveness against non-enveloped viruses.

In addition to the SARS-CoV-2 results, Corning has also published research on Corning Guardiant demonstrating kill of other bacteria and viruses with greater than 99.9% efficacy in under two hours.

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