Antimicrobial metal and plastic enclosures for medical equipment
10 November 2011
To help reduce the incidence of hospital-acquired infections, Vero Technologies is now able to offer its plastic and metal enclosures and panels doped with Biomaster, a silver-based antimicrobial additive in the material, which provides an effective means of reducing bacteria by up to 99.99% for the active life of the product. The key benefit is that the silver ion material is added to the raw ABS before the moulding process in the case of plastic enclosures.
As the additive becomes an integral part of the material, the efficacy of the protection does not diminish over time, giving far superior protection to external coatings that will inevitably degrade through normal wear and tear, routine cleaning and accidental damage. For front panels and extruded aluminium enclosures, where the antimicrobial material is added to the anodising process, trials are currently being conducted; preliminary results show similar reductions in bacterial growth rates to those found in plastic enclosures.
Biomaster is produced by Addmaster, with whom Vero has a technology partnership agreement. It has been tested on over 50 different species of bacteria, including the commonly encountered MRSA, E.Coli, Listeria, Salmonella and Campylobacter species. Independent testing to ISO 22196:2011, using MRSA and E.Coli, has confirmed the effectiveness of the additive.
If radiation emitted by the housed electronics or their susceptibility to external fields is a potential problem, moulded enclosures offer no inherent attenuation to the passage of electromagnetic fields. As well as antimicrobial capability, RFI screened moulded enclosures are also manufactured.
To provide screening, Vero Technologies offers three alternative internal coatings that provide varying levels of attenuation at different price points to suit more than 95% of possible applications; for highly specialised applications, other coatings are available. For less demanding commercial applications, the lowest cost 50-micron nickel coating provides attenuation of 50dB at 1GHz.
The default coating is a 10- or 20-micron silver-coated copper particle coating, which typically attenuates by 78dB at 10 GHz. The highest attenuation is achieved using a 22.5-micron silver coating, which gives in excess of 80dB at 1.5GHz. It provides an effective shield against RFI and EMI and can act as a ground plane to protect against electrostatic discharge (ESD).
Vero Technologies manufacture a comprehensive range of standard plastic enclosures. Such well know brand names as Veronex, IDAS, Apollo, General Purpose Box, Patina and many others are produced at the company’s UK facility. A large number of accessories such as battery holders and various general purpose designs of card guides are also produced. They are available in different styles and sizes at economical prices, reducing time and cost to market for new projects; they are lightweight; complex shapes and features are easily incorporated into the design and they are easily modified to accept displays, switches, connectors and other hardware.
In addition to supplying the enclosures ex-stock as standard products, Vero Technologies offers of customisation services, with drilling, punching, legend silk screening and custom front panel manufacture provided on short lead times.
In addition to its moulded enclosures, Vero Technologies also manufactures the iconic Veroboard, Verowire wiring pens, extender boards, loop terminal assemblies, PCB test points, solder pins and a wide range of electronic prototyping boards and breadboards for the electronics engineer.
For more information about antimicrobial properties, click here.
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