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Aesthetic and hygienic: Antimicrobial copper brings new life to small and large building projects
JOHANNESBURG – May 23, 2013 – Copper has since ancient civilisations played a large role in art, building, medicine and technology. Its rich red and bronze hues consistently add to its aesthetic attraction as a warm and dynamic metal. At present, copper and its alloys – brasses, bronzes, cupronickel, copper-nickel-zinc and more – are receiving fresh fame as natural antimicrobial materials.
“Antimicrobial copper (AMC) is ideal for use in hospitals, other healthcare facilities, and various public, commercial, and residential buildings, for a variety of hygienic applications,” says Evert Swanepoel, the centre director for the Copper Development Association Africa (CDAA), a copper alliance member.
“In short, AMC touch surfaces kill the microbes that cause infections where they lie.”
He lists the benefits of copper in architecture as being durable, corrosion resistant, low thermal movement, low maintenance and sustainable. “Best is that copper is visually appealing and can look either contemporary or traditional, and so suits any style of building,” he says.
Architectural copper has evolved from a weather barrier and exterior design element into indoor building environments where it is changing the way commercial and residential interiors are decorated.
“Copper has certainly earned respect in architecture, and the recognised antimicrobial efficacy of copper has resulted in an increased and renewed interest for its use to protect touch surfaces against infectious microbes in both internal and exteriors of buildings. In fact, any touch surface can be upgraded with antimicrobial copper alloys, helping to protect public health and improve hygiene. AMC can, quite simply, create the safest environment for your clients.
“It is also important to note that copper retains its bacteria-killing effectiveness even when it is mixed with other metals such as nickel and tin. This has helped ease aesthetic concerns, as many of the current antibacterial copper products are alloys of a lighter colour and a finish closer to that of stainless steel,” says Swanepoel.
Areas of Expertise:
Promoting the use of Copper in Africa across many sectors eg Architecture, Plumbing, Solar Energy, Medical, Pharmaceutical, Dental, Veterinary, Electrical, Air Conditioning, Automotive, Aquaculture, Transformers, Catering, Packaging to name but a few.