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Keywords of this article:  masterbatch 
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NanoBioMatters, a supplier of engineered clay-based additives based in Spain, announced on July 27 that its BactiBlock anti-microbial polymer preservative has been registered by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for use in the US.

"The recent EPA registration opens the door for commercial entry of these unique anti-microbial preservatives into the US," said Ole Faarbaek, Vice President of NanoBioMatters North America. "Several major US brand owners in key markets have finalized testing and commercial use in the US is expected later this year."

BactiBlock anti-microbial preservatives are already produced at commercial scale, having been used in Europe since 2010.

The proprietary and patent-pending BactiBlock technology features purified and modified phyllosilicate clay which is used as a performance-enhancing carrier of the silver anti-microbial agent. During the production process, silver is linked to the clay surface and a uniform dispersion of the clay is achieved.

In addition, the silver deposited on the clay prevents platelet agglomeration which, combined with unique surface modification, is designed to suppress the growth of algae, mold, mildew, fungi, and bacteria, which cause deterioration, odors, corrosion, and stains in polymer-based products.

The silver linked to the clay platelets is released to the surface of the protected material at a controlled rate. This ensures a more uniform and long-term anti-microbial effect, usually lasting for several years, compared to preservatives with the active agent readily available in the polymer.

The BactiBlock range of products are compatible for use with a range of polymers and plastics including polyolefins, engineering resins, powder coatings, liquid coatings, and thermosets. The additive can be delivered as a micronized powder, gel concentrate, or a masterbatch and specific levels of each component can be fine tuned to achieve the desired performance. Final concentration of the total additive package is dependent on product design and target properties with typical concentration ranging from 0.5-2%.

BactiBlock can be used in a wide range of applications. Key end-use markets where surface protection, odor control, and stain resistance are important include construction (flooring, surfaces, countertops), furniture, apparel, footwear, appliances, and sporting goods.

Apart from the silver-based anti-microbial preservative, NanoBioMatters is currently developing additional biocide solutions for polymers based on novel chemistries which will further broaden the range of applications.
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