Cu-based thin rolled foils: relationship among alloy composition, micromechanical and antiviral properties against SARS-CoV-2.

Publication date: Mar 30, 2024

The healthcare-associated infections (HAIs) and pandemics caused by multidrug-resistant (MDR) and new-generation pathogens threaten the whole world community. Cu and its alloys have been attracting widespread interest as anti-contamination materials due to the rapid inactivation of MDR-superbugs and viruses. Applying thin Cu-based foils on pre-existing surfaces in hygiene-sensitive areas represents a quick, simple, cost-effective self-sanitising practice. However, the influence of chemical composition and microstructure should be deeply investigated when evaluating the antimicrobial capability and durability of Cu-based materials. The effect of composition on micromechanical and antiviral properties was investigated by comparing Cu15Zn and Cu18Ni20Zn (foil thickness from 13 to 27 μm) with Phosphorous High-Conductivity (PHC) Cu. The influence of recrystallisation annealing of PHC Cu was also investigated. Microstructural characterisation was carried out by optical (OM) and scanning electron (FEG-SEM) microscopy, Energy-dispersive Spectroscopy (EDS) and Electron-Backscattered Diffraction (EBSD). The micromechanical behaviour was assessed by microhardness, microscale abrasion and scratch tests. Cu-based foils were exposed to SARS-CoV-2 for different time points in quasi-dry conditions (artificial sweat solution), evaluating their antiviral capability by quantitative Reverse-Transcriptase Polymerase Chain Reaction (qRT-PCR). Surface morphology, contact angle measurements and Cu release were measured. All Cu-based surfaces completely inactivated SARS-CoV-2 in 10 min: pure Cu was the best option regarding antiviral efficiency, while Cu15Zn showed the best trade-off between micromechanical and antiviral properties.

Concepts Keywords
10min Cu-based thin foils
Antimicrobial High-touch surfaces
Pcr Micromechanical properties
Recrystallisation Microstructure
Viruses Respiratory tract infections

Semantics

Type Source Name
disease MESH infections
disease VO inactivation
disease VO Viruses
disease VO effective
drug DRUGBANK Phosphorus
disease VO time
pathway REACTOME Release
disease VO efficiency
disease MESH Respiratory tract infections

Original Article

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