An antivirus paint

MÉRIGNAC Fluorotechnique will offer its customers a self-decontaminating bactericidal and virucidal copper-based coating.

Will Fluorotechnique benefit from a promising growth driver? Benjamin Morin, Managing Director of the company, is convinced of this.

Located in Vert Castel since 2014, this company, whose head office is in Montreuil (Seine-Saint-Denis), specializes in surface treatment. “We usually apply non-stick and self-lubricating coatings, we offer solutions to problems of corrosion and electrical insulation”, summarizes the manager.

In aeronautics, Fluorotechnique is particularly active on aircraft engine parts. Airbus, Dassault and Thales are among its customers. The medical and pharmaceutical equipment, automotive (molding of Michelin tires) and food industry (molding of the canelés) are other important sectors. F’entreprise employs about thirty people, ten of which are in Mérignac, and achieves 5 million euros in sales.

Door handles, buttons…

The future development lever expected by Benjamin Morin is called “MetalSkin®”. Fluorotechnique is not a manufacturer but an applicator of this product, which is the result of a French invention. We are going to use it on behalf of customers by treating contact elements, whether metallic or plastic. We have the know-how and the technical means to use this paint according to the required standards”, assures Benjamin Morin. Door and window handles, bars, knobs and railings are all nests of microbes whose virulence can be largely attenuated.

Above all, Fluorotechnique has signed an exclusive agreement with MetalSkin Technologies, a TPE from Hérault, France. “There will be only four industrial applicators in France and our company will be the only certified center in New Aquitaine,” explains the Gironde-based manager, who plans to launch this technology at the end of September, by prospecting priority the actors of the medical field.

This coating draws its specificity from the incorporation of a copper alloy, a naturally bactericidal metal. It is the first of its kind to comply with the NF S90-700 standard. Approved in May 2019, this reference requires the elimination of 99% of bacteria in one hour, within a few hours. normal environmental conditions. “We are clearly in the nails since, what the standard requires in one hour, our product obtains it in a few minutes. It kills 99% of the bacteria in three minutes and divides by 3000 the number of bacteria in one hour”, guarantees Stéphane Penari, founding president of MetalSkin Technologies.

Another great interest, the layers can be applied on any type of support. Its effectiveness as a self-decontaminating surface has been analyzed by the Fonderephar (Foundation for the Development of Pharmaceutical Research) laboratory in Toulouse.

10-year stability

Developed well before the advent of the NF S90-700 standard, this solution was tested at the Saint-Roch Clinic in Montpellier. “There is no erosion of the self-decontaminating properties at the end of the fifth year,” assures Stéphane Penari. His company reports a stability of 10 years under normal conditions of use.

A bacterial chaser, MetalSkin® also acts as a virucide, killing, for example, the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus in less than four hours. This result is based on virulence analyses carried out by the Cemipai laboratory of the CNRS in Montpellier. However, “it does not dispense with hand cleaning and surface disinfection,” warns Stéphane Penari. This treatment should be conceived as an additional barrier gesture to reduce the risks of transmission via contact elements”. He adds by way of comparison: “When the ABS system arrived in the car, the rear brakes were not removed under the pretext that the vehicle was braking better. Here it’s the same.”

In addition to healthcare facilities, this type of surfacing is likely to interest many companies and communities. Stéphane Penari is confident of his innovation and has protected himself by filing several patents in France and around the world (United States, Canada, China, Japan, Australia). He is aware that solicitations are beginning to come in from certain countries.

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