New ISO Standards for Antibacterial Testing of Tile

The life sciences research department of the Tile Council of North America (TCNA) has made antimicrobial testing using new ISO standards available for ceramic tile.

“Architects and designers are seeking to specify building materials that are resistant to microorganisms and easy to clean and sanitize, while at the same time provide the aesthetics they need,” says TCNA director of research, Dr. Jyothi Rangineni, who is now working to develop antiviral and antifungal test methods specific for ceramic tile. “Antimicrobial ceramic surfaces — surfaces that can kill, resist or inhibit the growth of microorganisms — will have significant impact for the built environment in the wake of Covid-19.”

While many existing microbiological test methods can be applied to various materials or have been developed specifically for materials like plastics and fabrics, very few previously pertained specifically to ceramic tile. The new ISO test standards, published in late 2021, test for the antibacterial activity of ceramic surfaces, including those with antimicrobial coatings, using two different bacteria, E. coli and S. aureus, and take into consideration properties that are unique to ceramic products.

“Surfaces that prevent transmission and the spread of disease are in high-demand, and many new technologies and products have been developed to address this interest,” says TCNA’s director of laboratory services, Katelyn Simpson. “For such products, it’s important for product warranties, marketing and new product development to test to these standards if promoting the efficacy of their antimicrobial properties.”

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