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Zotefoams has developed a cross-linked polyolefin foam material, which is claimed to have good anti-microbial properties.

Thanks to its high purity, Plastazote foam is used in the medical industry in a range of applications, from prosthetics and orthotics to body supports for MRI and CT scanning.

The company believes that, with hospital-acquired infections (HAIs), including MRSA, occurring on a regular basis, this antimicrobial foam will help provide enhanced protection to both patients and staff.

Phil Maddox, director of sales and marketing for Zotefoams, said: ’Bacteria grow on almost any surface imaginable and many healthcare applications would benefit from having a foam that has biocidal properties.’ The Plastazote grade is infused with Biomaster: an additive that inhibits the growth of potentially harmful bacteria such as Escherichia Coli (E.coli) and MRSA, along with moulds and fungi that cause degradation, discolouring and unpleasant odours.

Different to a surface treatment, the additive will remain present and active for the complete life of the foam and will not wash out or wear away.

Under independent laboratory test conditions, when in contact with E.coli and MRSA for 24 hours at 35C under a relative humidity of more than 95 per cent, the new material saw a reduction in viable organisms in excess of 99 per cent, suggesting that this foam would remain cleaner, fresher and safer during intervals between sanitisation.

Zotefoams manufactures a wide range of closed-cell, cross-linked polyolefin foams in many different densities from 15kg/m3 to 120kg/m3 (1lb/ft3 to 7.5lbs/ft3).

Produced from LDPE, HDPE and blends, ethylene copolymers and 100 per cent polypropylene, these foams are marketed under the leading brand names: PLASTAZOTE, EVAZOTE, SUPAZOTE and PROPOZOTE. Many of these 'Azote' foams are available in a wide variety of vivid attractive colours in addition to the more common black, white and grey.

Flame-retardant, conductive and static-dissipative variants are also produced for special applications. Zotefoams uses a unique nitrogen expansion manufacturing process to produce pure foam with exceptional consistency in terms of cell size and structure, density and depth of colour. Using this technology, the company has recently developed ZOTEK, a range of foams with outstanding thermal, physical and chemical properties and based on advanced engineering polymers such as PVDF and polyamide.

ZOTEK F (produced from Kynar PVDF fluoropolymer) exhibits the excellent flame-retardant properties demanded in the aerospace industry. The company also markets T-Tubes, an advanced tube and pipe insulation system specifically developed for stainless steel process lines in cleanroom environments and manufactured from ZOTEK F.

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