Antimicrobial and Antifouling Coatings for Industrial Applications

E. Tate
Inhibit Coatings Ltd.,
New Zealand


Inhibit Coatings Limited is a New Zealand based start-up company producing antimicrobial coatings using technology developed at Victoria University of Wellington. The coatings are initially targeted for use in food safety, food processing, medical and HVAC applications. Traditionally antimicrobial coatings trade off antimicrobial activity and the physical (i.e. wear and tear) properties of the coating. Either the hard-wearing characteristics of the coatings are compromised, or there isn’t enough antimicrobial agent to elicit an effect. However, this is not the case with Inhibit’s technology. Inhibit Coatings uses a unique silver nanoparticle functionalisation method that produces physically robust, low leaching and long life-time antimicrobial coatings. The technology produces silver particles evenly dispersed throughout the polymer coating. Only very small amounts of silver are required - typically less than 0.1% - thanks to silver’s excellent and well documented performance as an antimicrobial agent, with proven activity against over 650 different microorganisms. The antimicrobial technology has been applied to a number of coating systems including acrylics, epoxies and polyurethanes. Independent laboratory testing of these coatings has shown them to be effective at reducing E. coli, S. aureus and L. monocytogenes by over 99.997%, and to have retained this antimicrobial activity after numerous cleanings with common cleaning agents, making them ideal for food safety, medical and HVAC, amongst other applications.