A research network from Concordia University (Montreal, Canada) is leading an effort to develop antiviral metallic and ceramic coatings that would slow the transmission of the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19).
Concordia’s Green-SEAM (Surface Engineering for Advanced Manufacturing) network is tasked with integrating Canada’s surface engineering leaders into a cohesive community able to research, develop, and deploy solutions to problems such as the COVID-19 pandemic. According to Christian Moreau, director of Green-SEAM and head of Concordia’s Thermal Spray and Surface Engineering Research Centre, the network consists of surface engineering experts from 11 Canadian university and 14 industrial companies and government laboratories.
Green-SEAM has identified materials that could be used in the antiviral coatings, as well as spaces where its resources can be best deployed. “Copper and titanium oxide, we know, are active in killing bacteria and viruses, so they are effective materials to spray on surface to fight the spread of COVID-19,’ says Moreau, who also serves as Canada Research Chair in Thermal Spray and Surface Engineering.
“Any public space with high volumes of people circulating—like hospitals, industrial kitchens, nursing homes, public transport—is vulnerable to contaminated spaces,” Moreau adds. “We want to do everything in our power to connect frontline workers with industrial coating companies and research laboratories who have solutions—be they short-term or long-term solutions. We have partners who can accommodate large-scale production, as well as custom surfaces applications, from hand rails and door handles to countertops or much larger surfaces exposed to germs.”
Recent research from Green-SEAM member Javad Mosthaghimi demonstrated the benefits of copper coatings on hospital waiting-room chair armrests. The Green-SEAM network supports key Canadian economic sectors, such as aerospace, natural resource industries, and renewable energy, that generate high-value jobs, are export extensive, and involve the use of advanced manufacturing. The network has pivoted to the healthcare industry in order to identify coating opportunities in hospitals and clinics.
“We’re pioneering the development of technologies that ensure environmentally responsible practices and solutions by the entire Canadian coating and surface engineering community—a community that can contribute its skillset to help flatten the curve,” says Moreau.
Source: Concordia University, www.concordia.ca.