Rotterdam-based Parx Plastics is broadening the scope of the antimicrobial technology it developed, patented and now markets for plastic materials. The company has set its sights on the burgeoning silicone market and to that end established a separate entity in 2017, called Siliarity NV to manage and market its bio-derived technologies for silicone materials starting with antimicrobial technologies based on or derived from the Parx Plastics patents and knowhow. As the antimicrobial technology for Liquid Silicone Rubber (LSR) progresses towards industrial scale, Parx Plastics has now acquired a majority of the shares in Siliarity through a restructuring of the share capital.
Testing, said the company, is being carried out in collaboration with a major OEM manufacturer of silicone products, who is also a co-investor.
Parx Plastics’ technology is based on a biomimetic approach: the technology uses a biocompatible trace element that in skin acts as the defence mechanism against microbes, a mechanism that is mimicked in plastic and polymers. By preventing bacteria and biofilm adhesion and proliferation, a reduction in the microbial load of 99.9%, measured according to ISO 22196, is achieved.
With the global LSR market projected to reach $3.82bn by 2026 at a CAGR of 8.3% from 2016 to 2026, it is a market presenting excellent prospects. Typical applications for liquid silicone rubber are products that require high precision such as seals and sealing membranes; infant products where smooth surfaces are desired, such as bottle nipples, medical applications as well as kitchen goods such as baking pans, spatulas, etc. – all applications where antimicrobial properties represent added value and additional safety for the end product.
Testing of the new antimicrobial-enhanced LSR is expected to continue throughout the remainder of 2019, after which the launch of the material will come in sight, Parx Plastics noted.