Antimicrobial-treated steel has been developed for use in refrigeration systems where growth of bacteria, mold and mildew may be an issue.

Antimicrobial-treated steel has been developed for use in refrigeration systems, HVAC systems, appliances and building components where growth of bacteria, mold and mildew may be an issue.

Mapes & Sprowl Steel, Elk Grove Village, Ill., through a partnership with AK Coatings, Middleton, Ohio, offers the AgIon coating, which is an inorganic compound whose active ingredient is ionic silver. Encapsulated in a zeolite matrix for continuous controlled release to the surface of the treated steel, silver ions suppress the growth of destructive bacteria and other microbes. The material is incorporated into an epoxy-based paint and applied to steel using roll-coating technology.

The AgIon coating has been formulated in a way that allows the material to be fabricated in the same manner as non-AgIon treated steels without loss of coating or efficacy, according to Mapes & Sprowl. On treated-steel articles, the pieces may be welded because the surface coating can be repaired. Touchup paint for AgIon-treated products is available.

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