Antiviral steel proven to battle Corona virus

Figure 1. Antiviral performance of the photocatalytic steel sheets using FeLuceTM (Silver finish).

Figure 1. Antiviral performance of the photocatalytic steel sheets using FeLuceTM (Silver finish).

Nippon Steel Corporation has developed photocatalytic steel sheet that provides a health-promoting antiviral effect by using titanium oxide, and is now proceeding with a commercialisation study.

Text by Nippon Steel Corporation

The antiviral testing of the steel sheet was conducted by an external testing organisation, which confirmed an inactivation effect against the coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2). Nippon Steel foresees the use of this type of steel as a new way in which steel creates value for society and human health.

Electroplated sheets

Antiviral testing was performed by applying the industry standard JIS R 1756*, using Nippon Steel’s existing hairline-finished electroplated steel sheet, FeLuceTM, to which was added a photocatalytic function. The test showed that over 99.8% of the virus on the steel sheet was inactivated at a 500 lx illuminance level with four hours of illumination. Even in darkness, over 99.3%2 of virus was inactivated. These results confirmed that the antiviral property of the sheet has a hybrid function, against the coronavirus
(Figure 1).

Fighting Corona virus

The test shows that the photocatalytic steel sheet has promise as a measure against the Corona virus. The world is experiencing an increased need for infection control and hygiene, especially relating to products that may be touched by the general public or in places where virus-laden droplets and aerosol particles may spread and constitute a health risk. Nippon Steel’s photocatalytic steel sheet can be used as a material that provides additional safety and reassurance for office interiors, hospitals, schools, and care facilities, as well as public restrooms, elevators, partitions, and display racks.
Nippon Steel’s development team is also working on adding a photocatalytic function to various surface treated steel sheets other than FeLuceTM (Silver finish). The the aim is to commercialise a group of photocatalytic functional steel sheets within this fiscal year (ending March 2022).

In its pursuit of world-leading technology and manufacturing capabilities, Nippon Steel will continue to contribute to the development of society through activities that are consistent with the “Sustainable Development Goals” (SDGs) adopted by the United Nations, “ensuring the health and welfare of all people”.

Notes

  • This data was obtained by conducting testing, which applied the JIS R 1756 and is not intended to warrant the prevention of infection in the actual environment. The actual effectiveness varies depending on conditions and methods of the product use. The Photocatalysis Industry Association of Japan has noted that, as a guideline for antiviral performance, over 99% in reduction rate of viruses is considered to be effective.
  • Plaque forming unit (pfu) is an index that indicates the infectivity titer of virus.
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