Microbe Protect 2400.

Antimicrobe varnish additive

At Crucial Colour, we care about the health and safety of all customers, staff, and end-users of our printing services. Our fundamental belief in wellbeing has driven the introduction of an innovative new product that actively fights viruses and bacteria to produce high-quality printing that is significantly safer to handle.   

As a world, we are currently facing a widespread health crisis. To fight this threat, companies around the world must step up to become part of the solution, finding innovative, scientifically proven ways to support human wellbeing from within our respective fields of expertise. As an important step towards this goal, Auckland-based Crucial Colour has worked closely with our global stakeholders to introduce a new antiviral varnish additive that provides highly effective bacteria and virus control on the surface of printed materials including pharmaceutical and food packaging, magazines, playing cards, and other printing that require active surface protection.

Since their market launch in June 2020, this new varnish range has impressed many, with a strong print result and exceptional antimicrobial and antiviral results, including positively passing antiviral tests on a strain of corona. The efficacy of the nano-silver active ingredient complex in Microbe Protect 2400 has been scientifically proven through testing by renowned external testing institutes, which validate the incredible properties of elementary silver. These tests have shown a 99.99% reduction in bacteria and viruses and more recent tests go further to show a 99.8% reduction in a strain of the corona family.  

The varnish additive contains a unique nano-silver formulation whose active ingredient has been specially activated. Moisture causes positively charged silver ions to be released from the elementary silver-nanoparticles, which are firmly anchored in the varnish film to reduce the number of bacteria and viruses present with permanent effect, as the nanoparticles themselves are not released and cannot be rubbed off the dried varnish. This innovation draws on technology from the medical arena, where elementary silver has long been used as an effective antibacterial agent in masks. In varnish additives, the technology can be applied to printing to produce a coating that is barely perceptible to the human eye and provides long-term health protection benefits.

In practical terms, Microbe Protect offers permanent, long-lasting effectiveness on paper and cardboard and is suitable for indirect food contact with testing on a print sample in accordance with ISO 22196 against Escherichia-coli (E. coli) and Staphyloccocus aureus (S. aureus) showing a reduction of up to 99.99%. The product is fast drying by IR and hot air, with excellent rub resistance, very good wet-blocking resistance, is applicable on both sides, and suitable for long and short delivery.