Authors: J.H. Johnston, M. Parry
Affilation: Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand
Pages: 358 - 361
Keywords: nanogold, nanosilver, polyurethane, nylon, antimicrobial, composite
A new generation of nanogold and nanosilver polymer composites with polyurethane and nylon, and nanofunctionalised polyurethane paints, have been developed. This novel nanoscience provides the opportunity to impart new functionality to these polymer substrates for industrial and consumer products. Applications include: non-copyable security identification and labelling; catalytic surfaces; lightfast colorants; effective, long lasting and durable antimicrobial and antifouling surfaces for paints, textiles, healthcare equipment and water and air filters; and water purification devices. This innovatively uses the chemical affinity of gold and silver for N in the –NH2 groups of the polymers and their porous matrix to form the nanogold and nanosilver particles directly in the polymer matrix. The nanometal polymer composites can be drawn into fibres, or moulded and shaped by conventional thermoplastic processes to produce uniform products. The nanoparticles are chemically bound to the respective polymer matrix and do not wash or wear off. The nanometal polymer composites exhibit effective and durable antimicrobial activity against Staphylococcus aureus and E. coli bacteria with 99.9% reductions in the bacteria count. Nanosilver and nanogold polyurethane paints show impressive marine antifouling effectiveness where the composites markedly reduce marine growth on a paint surface.