Scientists Create Stainless Steel That Resists Bacteria and Lasts Longer
July 20th, 2011
Today stainless steel is everywhere from the kitchens in restaurants and at home to the doctor’s office. The reason stainless steel is everywhere is that the material is easy to clean and lasts a long time too. Scientists at the University of Birmingham have figured out a way to make stainless steel harder and more durable and antibacterial at the same time.
The team introduces silver or copper into the steel surface using Active Screen Plasma or ASP to create a hybrid metal. The process also introduces nitrogen and carbon to the stainless steel. The silver is a bacterial killing agent and the nitrogen and carbon harden the steel making it more resistant to cleaning and use.
The net result is that germs are less likely to affect you in the kitchen and make you sick and the harder steel makes the material last longer between cleanings. The team tested the material in medical instruments and found that after 120 cleanings, the antibacterial properties were still there and the metal was still resistant to wear.