Antimicrobial coatings on 3D printed products
Wits researchers have developed a cold spray process for the deposition of antimicrobial coatings on 3D printed ABS polymer surfaces. Cold spray is a rapid low-temperature deposition technique which can be used to coat surfaces of varying sizes to achieve desirable surface properties.
Adhesion and uniformity of the resultant coating are the two main technical challenges with the application of cold spray to 3D printed materials. This technology addresses these limitations and has been used to produce uniform antimicrobial copper coatings on 3D printed polymer samples with effective antimicrobial properties for touch-contact surface applications. This optimized process is underpinned by a proprietary set of system deposition parameters that have been established to be particularly suitable for enhanced antimicrobial activity of copper coatings on ABS. It is implemented as an integral part of 3D printing which allows for rapid manufacturing of antimicrobial products.