The Northern Territory Department of Trade, Business and Innovation has become the first organisation to deploy antimicrobial ACTIVAT3D copper throughout their building to help fight the spread of COVID-19. Tests confirmed ACTIVAT3D copper ‘contact kills’ 96% of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, in just two hours.
Darwin company SPEE3D recently announced the successful development and testing of ‘ACTIVAT3D copper,’ a fast and affordable way to 3D print anti-microbial copper onto existing metal surfaces. The Australian NATA accredited clinical trial speciality laboratory, 360Biolabs, tested the effect of ACTIVAT3D copper on live SARS-CoV-2 and results showed that 96% of the virus is killed in two hours and 99.2% of the virus is killed in 5 hours. Stainless steel showed no reduction in the same time frame. The initial testing of ACTIVAT3D copper and future studies have been funded and supported by NERA (National Energy Resources Australia) – the country’s Industry Growth Centre for energy resources.
The SPEE3D team then developed a process to coat stainless-steel door touch plates and handles in under 5 minutes. In a wonderful example of the Northern Territory embracing local innovation, the first order for ACTIVAT3D copper came from The Norther Territory Government. SPEE3D was contracted to replace existing door handles within The Northern Territory Department of Trade, Business and Innovation with ACTIVAT3D copper products. With these handles now installed, staff of this Department, and the community they interact with, are already experiencing the benefits of antimicrobial copper.
The lab results have sparked global interest in this technology as Governments and private companies look for proactive ways to protect their communities. Whilst SPEE3D were able to pivot their business and rapidly go into production of antimicrobial copper door fixtures to meet this demand, their specialty is in the design and manufacture of metal 3D printing equipment and software. With this technology now proven and enquiries coming in from around the world, SPEE3D are looking to partner the door handle manufacturing industry to deliver ACTIVAT3D copper at scale to where it is needed most.
As a long-time project partner of SPEE3D’s NERA CEO Miranda Taylor say their ability to successfully adapt their technology and pivot their business model demonstrated the resilience of Australian businesses and their potential to help the world combat COVID-19. “NERA has supported SPEE3D develop market-leading technologies to help our national energy sector, and we’re committed to assisting them leverage their skills and expertise into this important new paradigm to help our country and many others curtail the devastating impact of this global pandemic.”
Filed Under: Hack the Crisis: Engineering through COVID-19, Make Parts Fast