Cast PVC film fights germs in new hospital application

A French converter has developed a DEHP-free cast polyvinyl chloride antimicrobial film that is being tested in hospitals in the fight against hospital-borne infections, including superbug MRSA.

Hexis Health (Frontignan, France) says that its new antimicrobial PVC film inhibits growth of a wide range of microbes including E.coli, staphylococcus aureus, and MRSA, by more than 90% based on tests carried out under ISO 22196 (Measurement of antibacterial activity on plastic surfaces).

Hexis antimicrobial film installation.

In a pilot project, the printable film has been fitted to doors within both the hospital's Pediatric department and games room in Le Centre Hospitalier De La Côte Basque, a regional hospital in southwestern France.  Images of Disney characters have been digitally printed on the film for the hospital's younger patients.

"The film is mainly intended for hospital/medical environments," Martin Kugler, Hexis spokesman, told Plastics Today. "However, as it a very thin and very conformable film and it can be applied on a wide variety of substrates, even curved surfaces."

 Potential applications are in markets such as the food industry, laboratories, and schools.

The bug-killing agent in the film is Triclosan, which is loaded at <0.3m/m. None of the Hexis high performance PVC films (including the antimicrobial) contains DEHP as a plasticizer. Only polymeric plasticizers are used, said Kugler.

It's available in three thicknesses : 30µm to protect handles, 60µm to protect walls or tables, and 200µm to protect floors. It can be installed on flat and curved surfaces of doors, walls, items of furniture and appliances.

The self-adhesive, transparent Hexis Health PVC film (WIPO Patent WO/2008/099111) is made up of a cast 1.2 mil-PVC and comes supplied in rolls up to 54in wide. Hexis said that it effectively controls spread of microbes all day long without need for maintenance or cleaning with aggressive substances.

Hexis will be showing the film at CompaMed 2012 in Düsseldorf, Germany Nov. 14-16.


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