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The proprietary technology from Solvay protects polyolefins disinfected via UV-C irradiation from degradation.

July 14, 2022

2 Min Read
hospital operating room
Image courtesy of Alamy/agefotostock

In what it's calling an industry first, Solvay has announced the launch of a portfolio of UV-C stabilizers. The materials are designed for use in demanding hygiene applications, where polyolefin surfaces are treated with ultra-violet (UV) light in the UV-C spectrum (200 to 280 nm) to combat COVID and hospital-acquired infections.

The Brussels-based materials supplier said that the proprietary stabilization technology represents an important milestone for the polyolefin industry. Namely, it is the first to address the risk of polyolefin degradation, discoloration, and micro-crack formation, which is caused by frequent exposure to UV-C irradiation.

“Healthcare and other markets, such as aerospace and shared mobility, are increasingly using UV-C light to disinfect high-contact surfaces in an effort to combat pathogens, including coronaviruses,” said Sophie Poelmans, Global Marketing Manager for Polymer Additives at Solvay Materials. “Our new UV-C stabilization technology helps end users achieve effective UV-C disinfection levels on surfaces made from polyolefins without compromising the performance of the material.”

UV-C radiation can deactivate microorganisms and has been scientifically proven to be effective against coronaviruses, according to Solvay. However, the proven germicidal action of UV-C also exposes the treated surfaces to much higher ultraviolet energy than that covered by traditional UV-A and UV-B stabilizers, resulting in the potential for faster material degradation. A member of the International Ultraviolet Association (IUVA), Solvay has leveraged its expertise in polymer additives to develop a technology that is purpose-engineered to enable the use of UV-C light as an anti-microbial disinfectant on polyolefin surfaces, while safely protecting them against UV-C induced degradation.

The new UV-C stabilization technology is targeted at a range of polyolefin applications, including medical equipment in operating rooms, aircraft and shared vehicle interiors, and sporting venues.

Solvay will present this technology and other recent developments at K 2022 in Düsseldorf, Germany, from Oct. 19 to 26. The company is exhibiting in booth C 61 in Hall 6.

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