World’s first virus-killing stainless steel created

(ORDO NEWS) — It is especially important that thanks to the adjustment of the chemical composition and microstructure of stainless steel, it can inactivate the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus by 99.75% in three hours.

Scientists have created the world’s first stainless steel that kills viruses on its surface, including the pathogen Covid-19, in a few hours. The South China Morning Post writes about this with reference to the University of Hong Kong. The alloy can inactivate 99.75% of SARS-CoV-2 in three hours and 99.99% in six hours. The goal is to reduce the risk of cross contamination from door handles, elevator buttons and other surfaces that surround us everywhere.

The head of the scientific group Huang Mingxin said that the antimicrobial properties of their alloy, to which copper was added, remain long-term, even if the steel is constantly damaged during operation. “The new alloy has a higher copper content (over 10%), which gives it antibacterial properties,” he said. In addition, the alloy is produced using powder metallurgy technology , which can reduce costs.

In addition to coronavirus, this stainless steel can also protect against other pathogenic microbes: in particular, it has demonstrated excellent ability to inactivate – that is, destroy dangerous microorganisms – the H1N1 influenza virus and Escherichia coli ( Escherichia coli ) bacteria

.According to the developers, the new type of steel can already be launched into mass production. Its appearance on the market is expected in about six months. Researchers are now negotiating with industry representatives to make elevator buttons, doorknobs and handrails from this alloy – these are the ones people most often touch.

We know how long the coronavirus lives on certain objects from the very beginning of the pandemic. So, according to a study by employees of the National Institutes of Health, CDC, UCLA and Princeton University (USA), SARS-CoV-2 can be detected on copper surfaces – up to four hours, on cardboard – up to 24 hours, on plastic and stainless steel – up to two – three days.

And scientists from the School of Public Health at the University of Hong Kong have experimentally confirmed that the causative agent of the current pandemic is more resistant on smooth surfaces, although it cannot be detected on tissue paper and napkins after three hours.

It disappeared from the surface of treated wood and fabrics, including clothing, on the second day, from banknotes and glass – on the fourth. As for the outer layer of medical masks, SARS-CoV-2 is able to live on it for up to one week, while on the inner layer it remained active for four days.


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