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News

Antimicrobial copper abrasive water jet cutting

Copper Development Association (CDA) : 20 August, 2012  (Special Report)
UK company PP Plasma Ltd is now offering an Antimicrobial Copper cutting service, able to cut or process antimicrobial copper sheet and plate. The company's abrasive water jet cutting service offers advantages over other cutting processes, giving a clean and accurate finish with minimum taper, leaving no heat affected zone.

This supply of copper alloy cut profiles offers new options for manufacturers interested in supplying antimicrobial copper touch surface products to the healthcare environment, such as work surfaces, push plates, light switches, tabletops and dressings trolleys.

Copper is inherently antimicrobial, meaning it will rapidly and completely eliminate bacteria and viruses that settle on its surface. Over 350 copper alloys benefit from this antimicrobial efficacy, and together they are termed 'antimicrobial copper'.

Clinical trials in hospitals around the world have been undertaken to study antimicrobial copper's potential for reducing contamination and infection risk in the healthcare environment.  These have shown a greater than 90% reduction in contamination on antimicrobial copper touch surfaces compared to non-copper equivalents.  Furthermore, preliminary data from a recent US study shows that replacing just six frequently-touched surfaces in an intensive care unit room reduced a patient's risk of acquiring a hospital infection by greater than 40%.

This solid base of evidence has led to the installation of antimicrobial copper products in hospitals and healthcare facilities in the UK and around the world, as well as in schools, care homes, transport hubs and other areas where the spread of infection is a concern.  UK manufacturers have responded with a wide variety of products, and P.P. Plasma Ltd aims to facilitate further market developments.

"We have started to see the use of copper increase from our customer base and also are aware of the Medical sector's adoption of the material," explains PP Plasma Managing Director, Peter McCabe.  "We aim to develop this service as a major division of the business and support UK manufacturers in their use of copper-based products."

Customers of PP Plasma Ltd will start to see the Cu+ mark on all communications concerning their copper-related products and services.  This mark indicates that the International Copper Association, has granted permission to PP Plasma Ltd to market antimicrobial copper products, based upon adherence to strict usage rules.  These rules guide an organisation's understanding of the underlying technology and the way they promote, advise and deploy it in line with existing research, regulatory and legislative requirements.

PP Plasma will now offer cutting services for copper and copper alloys of thicknesses ranging from 0.5mm - 150mm.  Its portfolio consists of all major cutting technologies: water jet, laser, plasma and, most recently, bevel water jet.  Its CAD department also works to reduce the quantity of material used, with the aim of reducing cutting time and material cost.

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