Current antimicrobial coatings typically use additives to enhance antimicrobial activity. Typical commercial additives include silver, zinc, copper and quaternary ammonium compounds (QAC). While these additives are convenient for formulators, they also come with significant drawbacks and limitations, such as: 

  • Additives typically have adverse effects on the physical properties of the coating. This means that only a limited amount of the additive can be used which greatly limits the antimicrobial activity of the coating. 

  • Additive-functionalised coatings are reliant on the controlled release of the active ingredient to kill surrounding microbes. This limits the lifetime of the coating as the concentration of the active depletes over time. 

  • Additives can be easily washed out in harsh environments. This means that additive-based antimicrobial coatings do not meet the regulatory requirements for the food and beverage industry. The required cleaning and sanitization regimes in food processing facilities wash out the active ingredient over time. 

  • When the active ingredient is washed or leached out of the coating, the antimicrobial additive is released into our environment and our oceans. Antimicrobial additives are eco-toxic and destroy sensitive habitats and marine life. 


Inhibit Coatings has developed antimicrobial technology which exhibits none of these drawbacks.