The chemical and physical resistance of this type of paint to different bacteria, in addition to its low odor, provide high and permanent protection to scenarios such as hospitals and laboratories in which asepsis is a key concept.
By Painting Zone
The health crisis derived from COVID-19 revealed the importance of having spaces covered with the greatest possible protection for the safe and continuous transit of all types of people. Laboratories and hospitals are some of those scenarios that require such coating on their surfaces to ensure the care of patients and medical staff.
Such facilities are required to be 100% aseptic, a condition that is given by the coating applied to their floors. There appears the value of epoxy paint, characterized by its great chemical resistance to corrosive substances such as water, alkalis and acids, which also provide a glossy finish.
Given its low amount of solvent it can be used indoors. It does not contain heavy metals such as lead, mercury or cadmium. It also stands out for its excellent durability and adhesion. And most importantly: it is more resistant to the attack of bacteria and pollutants associated with medical procedures.
Innovative solutions from Latin America
In the midst of the pandemic, the team of Paolo Chaparro, current general manager of Pinturas Panorámicas in Chile, developed a sanitary line of paint prepared from copper nanoparticles to reduce the burden of Covid-19 in the country.
Since 2017, in partnership with the Schultz Química laboratory and the Catholic Universities of Temuco and the University of Valparaíso, Chaparro's research team had looked at the properties of copper, a famous Chilean export product, as an excellent antibacterial.
In this way, he created a line of water-based enamels with antimicrobial copper dispersion: "Homeshield", "Clinic" and "Epoxycooper", which prevent the spread of pathogens on surfaces in the face of virus outbreaks such as influenza virus, enteric salmonella, staphylococci, and COVID-19 itself.
Precisely the enamel "Epoxycooper" is an epoxy based on copper nanoparticles and other components that when mixed achieve an efficient protective film (antibacterial) to be applied on surfaces in hospital works such as intensive care rooms, surgical wards, laboratories, and others.
Chaparro assures that the antimicrobial properties of copper in paint considerably reduce the time of permanence of COVID-19 on surfaces with the presence of the mineral, lodging the virus for a time of only four hours, compared to the 72 hours it remains on surfaces of other materials.
Application and ringtones
Before applying epoxy paint, experts recommend cleaning the place properly. Therefore, it must be ensured that the surface is free of dust residues and remains completely dry.
The next step is to review the product data sheet, which contains safety and storage recommendations.
From there, the mixture of each of the components must be prepared separately until a uniform consistency is achieved. These should be joined later and left to rest for about 15 to 20 minutes.
After that, and regardless of the surface, the paint must be applied well stirred with a brush or foam rubber.
"It is ideal to do it with long and uniform brushstrokes that go in the same direction. In floors it is very likely that it is necessary to apply two layers to obtain a uniform color, "advise from Jet Paints, an industrial coatings brand with presence in countries such as Chile, Ecuador and Bolivia.
On the finish, this same company advises that you can choose between gloss and matte.
"Those surfaces that are painted with glossy finishes will stand out for their luxurious and shiny appearance; In addition, it has the characteristic of reflecting light, so it will enhance the light sensation of the spaces. On the other hand, the matte color is ideal to give delicacy or softness to spaces with its wide range of colors, "says Jet Paintings.
For its part, the company Pintuco, belonging to AkzoNobel, highlights that "traditionally and associated with asepsis, health-related spaces are painted with neutral and soft tones". Thus, for operating rooms and places where procedures are performed, the company points out that light colors are a good alternative (see box).
On the other hand, Jet Paints highlights that epoxy paints cover surfaces with high quality and their layer is thin and very adherent. Its thickness can be greater than that of other varnishes, and, therefore, it also offers more resistance to aggressions, "making it an excellent paint for surfaces in passage areas".
"While a resin may require more time to apply, applying an epoxy paint is simple and practical. Even if we give it two or three coats of paint, the thickness has a maximum of 0.3 mm, being more than enough to have a smooth finish, "complements the company.
Finally, it highlights that it is a very resistant paint, not only to traffic and erosion, but also to humidity, and is not altered by temperature variations in warm or cold areas.
From the Mexican company Prisa, one of the ten largest paint producers in the country, they point out that, since hospital floors are exposed to rough use, but also require an aesthetic, functional and long-lasting finish, the best coating solution consists of a two-element system:
Transparent EPX-100 sealant. It is the primary coating that offers high wetting capacity and good penetration on porous surfaces, characteristics that make it ideal for the primer of concrete floors.
"This epoxy sealant protects, insulates, fixes and seals, thereby facilitating the adhesion of coatings that are subsequently applied as mortars or self-leveling," says the company, which in turn points out that it offers good resistance to corrosion and abrasion.
Self-leveling EPX-100. According to Prisa, this coating gives an extraordinary finish to corridors, rooms and clinical areas, since it forms a monolithic folder, completely smooth, smooth and shiny.
The company asserts that, in addition, a third component can be added to the system: fine silica and quartz particles. These allow to achieve thicknesses of up to 5 mm, for an adequate leveling of the floor and greater resistance to heavy traffic.
"The advantage of both products is that they are made of 100% solid, that is, they have low odor and generate less volatile organic compounds (VOCs), which helps public or private hospitals comply with health sector regulations," the company concludes.
The purpose of color in medical spaces
The company Pintuco identifies the different purposes of color when remodeling and protecting medical spaces:
Warmth and luminosity
While white is a color that helps give light to an area, this purpose can also be achieved with an immense range of colors ranging from beige, through warm and pastel tones, to intense yellows.
If you are looking to decorate an office where the majority of people who attend are adults, and you want to print a little of your personality, gray walls contrasted with neutral colors can help recreate that atmosphere that will welcome patients who come to the consultation.
Serenity and relief
Blue, yellow, orange and green in pastel tones help create clean, subtle environments, areas that evoke tranquility and freshness. These tones are ideal in hospital rooms, as they give warmth and at the same time generate a feeling of rest.
Using strong colors such as ochre or metallic in the waiting room of an office can be a good idea if what you are looking for is a touch of elegance, options that must be measured so as not to overload the area.
Therefore, it is essential to think about how the color of the wall plays with the selected decoration and if this set supports the purpose pursued with this area.
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