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Copper vs COVID-19

An external suburban manufacturing facility, engineer Byron Kennedy, is restoring a machine to spray-spray a layer of copper onto a door handle, with the aim of using the antiviral properties of the metal to counteract COVID-19.

His company Spee3D is known as a manufacturer of 3D printers for copper and aluminum, used by customers including the Australian defense force and the U.S. Marines to print new parts to get broken equipment back into operation without waiting.

Copper has antimicrobial properties as is well known. The disinfectant strength is known as antibacterial, antiviral and anti-fungal. Spee3D has commissioned 360biolabs from the Melbourne laboratory how SARS-CoV-2, which causes COVID-19, reacts to copper surfaces.

The results showed that 96% of the virus was killed in two hours and 99.2% in 5 hours, compared to no changes on stainless steel surfaces in the same period, Kennedy said.

This is in line with a study funded by the United States government  published in March, according to which SARS-CoV-2 remained valid up to 4 hours on copper, compared to 2-3 days on plastic and steel steel.

Spee3D has therefore restored some of its machines to be able to coat surfaces such as door handles and push plates and has already received orders from two departments of the Australian government to resurface the door handles before staff return to work. The Northern Territory’s Commerce, Business and Innovation Department said in a statement that it was excited to adopt technology to make its workplace safer. The company is also talking to a large miner and several major door handle manufacturers on further applications, said Kennedy.

Copper had already made some progress in the healthcare sector after tests in hospitals, including in the US state of Virginia, in recent years.

  • Manufacturers in Japan, South Korea and Taiwan to sell copper alloy products in the industry have produced only modest use, in part because of the costs, said John Fennell, CEO of the International Copper Association Australia.


In Chile’s leading copper producer….


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