Charles Matthews is the co-founder and a principal at Biomaster USA, which is the exclusive US distributor for silver ion antimicrobial additives from Addmaster in the UK, since 2010. He started his career in paper and related products with Formica Corporation and then held senior sales and marketing positions at Fasson, xpedx , Champion International, and Smart Papers.

Antimicrobial Treated Coatings for Use In Graphic Communications and Packaging

Charlie Matthews, BiomasterUSA LLC

  • Silver used as a materials preservative for 1000’s of years
  • Silver used as an antibacterial agent from the Middle Ages onward, drawback was cost of plating objects in silver
  • Development of ionic silver compounds gave the same beneficial effects,   but now at very low concentrations in finished products
  • Competing agents such as organic chemicals raise environmental and toxicity issues, as well as reduced efficacy over time due to leaching (there should be an impartial discussion of other approaches. What are the drawbacks of silver that these are trying to sidestep? Can you quickly review the other approaches?)
  • Silver ions are now used in an enormous variety of products; including paints, polyurethanes and other functional coatings, molded plastic components, textiles and apparel.
  • Covid 19 pandemic raised awareness that microbes can live on printed surfaces
  • Printers began searching for a solution
  • Topcoats that seal the entire surface area of printed materials and provided antimicrobial protection were the obvious solution
  • Silver ion technology was a perfect  additive as it was infused in low doses, did not affect performance, clarity or color, was invisible to the naked eye, and would last the lifetime of the coating (a leading brand of this technology is Biomaster, produced and sold by Addmaster in UK. It is not the only silver-based solutions, however, right?).
  • Addmaster has partnered with a number of leading ink manufacturers to incorporate Biomaster® into their existing aqueous and UV cure topcoats and varnishes
  • Each ink manufacturer the conducted efficacy tests using an independent laboratory to prove 99.9% reduction in bacteria over a 24 hour period versus an untreated coating
  • Printers and their ink suppliers report no changes are needed in their operating procedures when using a Biomaster® infused coating
  • Printers are finding that any printed piece that is handled by multiple users is a candidate. This includes menus, flyers, postcards, signage, gift wrap, magazine covers, posters, just to name a few
  • Governmental regulation in each country determines the extent of the claims that can be made about treated materials. For example in the UK printers are able to publicize xxxx, whereas in the U.S. claims are restricted to xxxxx. More extensive claims in the U.S. would require xxxxx.
  • Conclusion about future?