In Blog, News & Views, Partner News

Most of us are probably familiar with the “new car smell”. This is when components are releasing chemical vapours, also known as off-gassing. It is most noticeable during the first six months of a car’s lifecycle.

With use, the smell in the car changes and unpleasant, often musty odours can develop. It may seem that your car desperately needs an air freshener, but it is much better to root out the odour-causing source than to mask the unpleasant smell.

Tackling the root cause

Frequent causes for musty smells can include mould and/or mildew in the HVAC system, carpet, or the seats. The vehicle will act like a greenhouse to make the smell worse – an incubator for microbial growth.

Unfortunately, articles such as the HVAC system can be harder to clean, due to microbial colonisation occurring from within the system. This can then cause problems such as bad smells which are difficult to cover up by simply trying to mask the smell with an air freshener rather than helping to combat the development of the microbes in the first place. The undesirable aspects of these microbes can even negatively impact the performance of the ventilation system itself, resulting in it ceasing to function before its expected life cycle.

Odour control with antimicrobial technology

This is where antimicrobial technology will come into its own and can be a real game changer in the automotive industry, by reducing the build-up of microbes in between cleans and in hard-to-clean areas. BioCote® antimicrobial technology will provide a permanent odour control and deliver optimal freshness and hygiene for a range of materials and components within a vehicle. Alongside odour control, BioCote® protected surfaces can also prevent microbial staining and material degradation, helping to extend the product life compared to that of an unprotected surface.

Antimicrobial additives supplied by BioCote® work by making surfaces inhospitable to microbes – for example by causing protein, cell membrane and oxidative damage, and through DNA interference. Formulating an additive involves harnessing the properties of antimicrobial materials (‘active ingredients’). Virtually any material can be treated simply by introducing the right additive during its manufacturing process, from polymers over coatings and paints to textiles.

Proven results for HVAC systems

Laboratory test data have repeatedly revealed that BioCote antimicrobial technology is highly efficacious against the odour causing microbes that are known to contaminate automotive heating and ventilation systems. We have measured the performance of our antimicrobial technology after its incorporation into coatings during a case study, simulating automotive heating and ventilation systems. The laboratory findings were unequivocal with reductions greater than 98.0% (> 98.0%) for all of the microbes used as part of the study.

The odour and stain causing microbes included in the study had been isolated from automotive heating and ventilation systems or were chosen as representatives of wider microbial groups. Results strongly suggest that BioCote technology will inhibit microbial contamination and reduce its undesirable effects in the cabin and maintain the long term performance of the system.

How BioCote® can support you

If you would like to know more about how to preserve that new car smell and integrate antimicrobial technology into your products, please contact a member of the BioCote® team today on +44 (0)2477 712489 or contact us via the form below. We look forward to hearing from you!

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