Disinfectant properties of copper have long been known, and its antibacterial, antiviral and antifungal properties have recently been confirmed in scientific studies. Australian company Spee3D instructed lab 360biolabs in Melbourne to see how SARS-CoV-2, causing COVID-19, reacts on the copper surface.
"the Results showed that 96% of the virus was destroyed in two hours, and 99.2% in 5 hours, compared to those in the same period on the stainless steel surfaces was not change", - says the engineer Byron Kennedy, owner Spee3D manufacturer of 3D printers for copper and aluminum.
This is fully consistent with the data obtained in the course of research funded by the US government, which show that SARS-CoV-2 remained viable for up to 4 hours on the surface of copper, compared with 2-3 days for plastic and stainless steel.
According to Kennedy, his firm is negotiating with a major mining company and several major manufacturers of door handles about applying antiviral coating on parts and accessories.
New production technologies such as 3D printing, can become a breakthrough in the fight against the spread of the virus because they allow you to apply ultra-thin coatings, while maintaining the advantages of the antimicrobial properties of copper and reducing the amount of metal used and hence the cost.
According to Kennedy, the price of covering standard office door handles today is 30 to 50 U.S. dollars, although the cost will reduce over time.
According to the analyst Lachlan's Show from the National Australian Bank in Melbourne, new methods of coating will increase the amount of metal used in health care.
In Chile, the largest copper producer in the world, the Minister of mines recently touted the use of copper in facial masks, for example, produced a us-Chilean company, while the American mining company Freeport McMoRan believes that a pandemic will demonstrate how copper can help to improve the health of the population.
"the Use of copper in medical equipment and facilities, as well as in public places, undoubtedly, will increase significantly when the price of copper, which was a barrier in the past, will be much smaller compared to the huge costs to society incurred by this pandemic," - said at a briefing last week, Freeport CEO Richard Adkerson.