DiOX, a company based in Ireland that develops fabric finishing chemicals, announces successful testing of its new antiviral fabric chemical D4. Due to the pandemic, “an increased emphasis on cleanliness and sanitization will influence purchase decisions above price, environmental impact and performance,” says business unit lead, Dave Evans, responsible for the DiOX’s new anti-viral fabric chemical D4.
DiOX is a relatively new company originally developing carbon free (CØ) durable water repellent (DWR) finishing chemicals using nano-scale silica dioxide. Its new technology was in final stage trials with major mills around the world when the pandemic arrived.
DiOX D4 has now been tested by Cambridge University’s Dept. of Chemical Engineering and Biotechnology using the ISO18184 framework, but also developing enhanced test methods to investigate safeguarding against contact contamination. These included unusual elements like ‘splatter’ tests to mimic coughs and sneezes. The findings have been outstanding with wash stability to 30+ washes and a viral load log reduction of >99 percent in 60 minutes using mammalian coronavirus to prove efficacy against SARS-COVID.
The company says its technology is well suited to addressing the dangers inherent in a fast-mutating virus. It’s impossible to predict variant strains, but as Cambridge University’s Dr Graham Christie explains, “Anything that targets the lipid part of the envelope rather than a specific protein is more likely to continue to be effective. D4 will embed in the envelope regardless of mutations/changes to the protein constituents, as long as it remains accessible.”
We know antivirals will play a huge role in textiles in the coming years, not just in apparel, but linen, home décor, automotive,” says Evans. “I truly believe consumers will be looking for guarantees before they purchase, whether staying in a hotel, renting a car, or buying anything from carpets to clothing.”