Frequent cleaning and surface disinfection — already proven to help reduce the risk of hospital-acquired infections (HAIs) — has become even more critical due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Now, Covestro  and Metrex  have partnered to investigate the influence of powerful disinfectants on polycarbonate-based materials.

Covestro materials are used to form numerous life-saving and life-enhancing medical devices, while Metrex’s disinfectants are widely used throughout the healthcare industry. The two companies jointly tested a variety of materials and disinfectants to demonstrate the compatibility of Covestro polycarbonates with common disinfectants, including Metrex’s CaviWipes 2.0. According to Metrex, this new product fully qualifies for the EPA’s rigorous Emerging Viral Pathogen Claim.1

In all, six different polycarbonate materials were tested against three Metrex products: Wipe saturated with CaviCide, CaviWipes Bleach, and CaviWipes 2.0. Two new materials — Makrolon® M6011 FR polycarbonate and Makroblend® M5005 FR PC+PBT — were developed specifically by Covestro to withstand powerful chemical disinfectants. These materials will launch in 2021 and are now available for sampling.

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Covestro and Metrex jointly tested a variety of materials and disinfectants to demonstrate the compatibility of Covestro polycarbonates with common disinfectants, including Metrex’s CaviWipes 2.0. (Credit: Covestro)

“As a leading supplier of polycarbonates to the healthcare industry, it’s in our DNA to continually innovate to meet the most pressing challenges,” says Paul Nowatzki, senior product expert – healthcare at Covestro LLC. “We formulated these new plastics specifically to address the need for materials that are able to withstand strong disinfectants used to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 and other pathogens.”

As is customary for rapidly assessing compatibility of plastics to disinfectants, test specimens were prestrained and followed several wipe and dry cycles with Metrex disinfectants to simulate actual usage. They were then evaluated by how well they retained their tensile strength.

Covestro materials developed to withstand the use of strong disinfectants performed well and retained their tensile properties in testing — Makrolon® M6011 FR polycarbonate, Makroblend® M4000 FR, and Makroblend® M5005 FR (both PC+PBT blends) are all flame-retardant housing materials with skin contact biocompatibility.

“This collaboration exemplifies how we work alongside other organizations that share our passion for solving tough challenges,” says Lauren Zetts, Americas market manager, healthcare – polycarbonates, Covestro LLC. “Doing so spurs innovation that is instrumental to our goal of making the world a brighter place.”

“By leveraging our respective strengths and bringing together our collective expertise, everyone benefits: our companies, our customers, and most importantly, healthcare professionals and those they care for,” adds Dr. Yatao Liu, general manager, Metrex.

A summary of the complete test results is available from Covestro upon request.

1CaviWipes2.0 has an EPA’s Emerging Viral Pathogen  claim against enveloped, large, and small non-enveloped viruses.