Magnetic paint that protects against pathogens and cleans itself | Gdańsk University of Technology

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Date added: 2023-02-01

Magnetic paint that protects against pathogens and cleans itself

Izabela Malinowska (in the picture) was appreciated in the Student-Inventor and EKOinnovator competitions for an invention developed under the supervision of Prof. Anna Zielińska-Jurek. The composition developed at the Faculty of Chemistry was also awarded a silver medal at the International Warsaw Exhibition of Inventions. Photo: Krzysztof Krzempek / Gdańsk University of Technology
Izabela Malinowska (in the picture) was appreciated in the Student-Inventor and EKOinnovator competitions for an invention developed under the supervision of Prof. Anna Zielińska-Jurek. The composition developed at the Faculty of Chemistry was also awarded a silver medal at the International Warsaw Exhibition of Inventions. Photo: Krzysztof Krzempek / Gdańsk University of Technology
The paint fights bacteria, removes stains and cleans the air from harmful compounds, and on top of that it replaces the magnetic board – such hybrid paint is new to the market. It is complemented by a biocidal and self-cleaning finish coat. In tandem, they will provide protection against the growth of pathogens inside a building. The invention can prove to be effective i.a. in hospitals, health centers and schools.

Izabela Malinowska, a doctoral student from the Department of Process Engineering and Chemical Technology at the Faculty of Chemistry, developed the following materials under the supervision of Anna Zielińska-Jurek, DSc Eng, professor at Gdańsk Tech: three-functional, self-cleaning, biocidal and magnetic paint and self-cleaning and biocidal finish coat.

The stain will clean itself, pathogens don't stand a chance

The self-cleaning effect of the paint is triggered when it comes in contact with pollution, the photocatalytic additive present in the paint breaks down dirt, greasy contaminants and destroys pathogens. In addition, using the paint on walls will ensure that the air is cleaned of volatile organic pollutants or NOx (harmful nitrogen oxides).

– Presence of zinc compounds in the developed composite structure creates such a strong biological barrier that pathogens do not develop on the surface, and the strains of hospital bacteria present on it are destroyed in a short time. The research was conducted on strains of gram-positive bacteria (Staphylococcus aureus) and gram-negative bacteria (e.g. Escherichia coli) – says Izabela Malinowska.

To activate the self-cleaning properties, artificial lighting is sufficient and the biological protection will be active even when the light is turned off.

– Meanwhile, most products currently available on the market contain titanium dioxide, which is active only under the influence of ultraviolet radiation, while solar radiation and indoor lighting are only slightly able to activate these functionalities – says Prof. Anna Zielińska-Jurek.

Due to its magnetic properties, the paint can also act as a magnetic board.

The researchers developed a finish coat as a material complementary to the paint.

–  Covering the wall with finish coat and paint will create a biological protection securing the building against the development of pathogenic microorganisms, protecting the health of the residents – assure the authors of the invention.

It will increase the asepticity of the rooms

As emphasized by Prof. Anna Zielińska-Jurek, currently there is no product on the market that will have these three properties at the same time. The invention can help to increase the functionality of coatings, especially in public buildings, such as: hospitals, health clinics, schools, conference rooms, playrooms, restaurants.

The paint developed at Gdańsk Tech can be used on various surfaces – not only walls, but also wood, metal, plastics, which can be covered with a protective and decorative coating.

– If, for example, elevator handles or buttons were covered with this paint, viruses would not spread – says Izabela Malinowska. 

Moreover, the paint is safe for the environment.

– The applied biological compound naturally occurs in the environment and is completely safe – says the researcher.

Long-lasting

Researchers from the Faculty of Chemistry developed a finished product (in this case, paint in various shades of brown). The first coatings were applied in 2018 on the most popular wall finishing material, i.e. drywall, and have not changed their properties so far.

– Moreover, the method of obtaining the composite is so universal that it can be added at any stage of paint production and does not change the original properties of the paint and finish coat – ensure the researchers.

Patent and first awards

The invention received patent protection. The doctoral student was awarded a special prize of the Marshal of Świętokrzyskie Voivodeship in the competition named Student-Inventor (in Polish: Student Wynalazca) for a series of three patent applications regarding the method of obtaining and using the trifunctional bio-photo-magnetic composites used for the production of protective and decorative coatings with biocidal, magnetic and self-cleaning properties. The composition was also awarded a silver medal at the International Warsaw Exhibition of Inventions International Warsaw Exhibition of Inventions (in Polish: Międzynarodowa Warszawska Wystawa Wynalazków). The doctoral student also received the main prize in the EKOinnowator 2022 competition in the category of doctoral student-innovator.

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