Antimicrobial Masterbatch for Plastics & Polymers

AUGUST 7TH, 2018
Antimicrobial Masterbatch for Plastics & Polymers
Updated April 2, 2019

When plastics manufacturing started to take off many years ago, it seemed like a great idea. With quick production times and lower costs, disposable and easily replaceable items became the norm.

Over time, the negative impact on both the environment and consumer’s pocketbooks became clear.   We started to look for ways to extend the lifespan of these products.

That’s where an antimicrobial masterbatch can help.

Read more about the difference between the terms antibacterial vs antimicrobial

Benefits of Using an Antimicrobial Masterbatch

Adding antimicrobial additives offers a competitive edge and an economical means of increasing value and performance.

An antimicrobial masterbatch used to treat plastic and polymers extends the lifespan of finished products in a couple of ways:

Reduces Physical Degradation

When bacteria, mold and mildew start to grow on plastics, they can start to cause those products to break down. Antimicrobial additives help to inhibit the growth of microbes.  As a result, the physical degradation of plastic and polymer products is slowed.

Hinders Undesirable Odors and Staining

The same microbes that cause material breakdown can also cause plastic products to take on unpleasant odors and/or unsightly staining that make them undesirable and unusable.

These odors and stains can be prevented with antimicrobial additives by inhibiting the growth of unwanted bacteria and fungi before they proliferate.

Plastic Products and Industries that Benefit from Antimicrobial Additives

We use plastics in pretty well every area of our lives – from the kitchen to the office – and most industries benefit from incorporating an antimicrobial masterbatch.

Products that spend a lot of time in high humidity environments or in/near water are more susceptible to bacterial growth, mold and fungi.

Antimicrobial masterbatches would help prevent mold on shower curtain liners
Mold on a PEVA shower curtain liner.

To show how an antimicrobial additive brings value to finished goods, let’s take a look at something like a shower curtain liner.

A liner without antimicrobial protection quickly become a source of musty odors and unsightly staining.  Liners incorporating antifungal protection via an antimicrobial masterbatch help to keep the product looking and smelling fresher.

Advertising this value-added feature also provides a competitive edge in the marketplace.  Read “The 10 best shower curtain liners for 2018” as an example of how antimicrobial additives become one of the top desired features since it really does make a noticeable difference.

Ever wonder why your shower curtain liner turns pink?  We’ve got the answer!

Other areas that benefit from the use of an antimicrobial masterbatch include:

  • Healthcare – Everything from plastic medical devices to counters and gloves can be protected using antimicrobial additives
  • Commercial and Building – Seating, auto interiors, insulation, pool liners, roofing membranes, vinyl siding and more
  • Personal Uses – Includes anything from housewares like toilet seats, flooring and mattresses to fitness equipment like yoga mats and footwear

Adding An Antimicrobial Masterbatch to the Manufacturing Process

Making plastics which bacterial and fungal efficacy, during the manufacturing process can be quite simple and cost effective.

An antimicrobial masterbatch is supplied in carriers suitable for most polymers including PVC, PE, HDPE, PP, polyamide, polyester, ABS, polycarbonate, and styrenics.

It is customized to suit most needs, from high-temperature applications to food contact end uses.

antimicrobial masterbatch examples
Antimicrobial masterbatch samples made using different polymers and additives to suit customer needs

The Importance of Choosing to Work with an Antimicrobial Plastic Expert

There are many companies today supplying antimicrobial masterbatch.  However, what sets a good antimicrobial supplier apart from the rest is the range of their product offerings, technical support, customer service and overall antimicrobial expertise.

When assessing antimicrobial manufacturers, choose a partner who will help you to find the right level of antimicrobial additive to give optimal protection.

Adding higher levels than needed only increases costs.  Selecting a supplier that has their own microbiology and chemistry laboratories to assess antibacterial and antifungal properties of the finished goods is essential.

This provides piece of mind confidence in knowing your antimicrobial products are well protected while minimizing overall costs.

Read more about what to look for when research antimicrobial companies to work with.

The Difference an Ultra-Fresh Antimicrobial Masterbatch Makes

Plastic treated with Ultra-Fresh antimcirobial masterbatch
Clear plastic, made using a customized antimicrobial masterbatch containing Ultra-Fresh, remains free of fungal growth after testing using the ASTM G21.
Untreated clear plastic with fungal growth
Untreated clear plastic supports fungal growth after testing using the ASTM G21.

Embracing our commitment to innovation, we have partnered with VinylPlus® and the Vinyl Sustainability Council in our united initiatives for the elimination of hazardous ingredients and processes from the vinyl manufacturing industry. In addition, no Ultra-Fresh products or ingredients are listed on California’s Proposition 65.

Learn More:

Our Antimicrobial Expertise

Thomson Research Associates (TRA) is a global leader in the field of antimicrobial treatments, providing technologies that impart bacterial and fungal efficacy to finished products for over 60 years.

We are committed to helping our clients deliver fresh, durable and innovative products by providing antimicrobial additives and treatments for fabrics, polymers, foams, coatings and more.

Our ultimate goal is to satisfy our clients’ specific needs through excellence in service, science, and support. Find out how we work with you through our scientific testing laboratory, highly-qualified technical and regulatory specialists.

We offer a selection of products, including options that are US EPA registered, BPR compliant and OEKO-TEX® listed.

Furthermore, acknowledging our social responsibility, we have partnered with bluesign® in our joint initiative for the removal of harmful substances and practices from the manufacturing process.

Learn more about us or contact us for more information.