Specialist Column

Small Materials but Big Roles for the Hygiene – Part 2

TAKASHI YAMAMOTO

TAKASHI YAMAMOTO
LINTEC Corporation
Section Manager, Marketing Group, Market Development Office

He joined the company in 1992. After working in a research institute, Osaka branch, and overseas (China), he returned to Japan and joined the current department. He is promoting the development of new markets and new applications for adhesive materials such as stickers and labels.
At home, he is in charge of sticker removal on garbage day. “Whenever I go to a store,” he said, “ I always peel off the labels of products and smell them, which makes the clerks look at me suspiciously. Incidentally, I am not mentally strong enough to endure being looked at suspiciously, soI feel guilty everytime I leave the store.”

If washing hands and gargling are the main measures to prevent virus infection through physical contact, then what can be done about "being touched"?

A typical method would be through the process of disinfection. Wiping or spraying the surfaces of places or objects that will be touched by people by using disinfectants such as alcohol or hypochlorite water ensures hygienic safety.

However, in layman's terms, both wiping and spraying always require people or things to do such work, and are unlikely to happen naturally. Also, since we often use liquids, there are some areas that are actually difficult or impossible to work with. For example, paper and wood may soak up the liquid and add to the effect, but there may be disadvantages such as paper tears, discoloration of the wood surface, etc.. Also, when using spray, it is not uncommon for the spray to dissipate into the air when sprayed, or for the effect to be uneven depending on the distance and time of spraying.

What I would like to propose here is the use of stickers and labels. If they were available with antibacterial and antiviral properties, it would be very convenient to simply apply them on places and things where they are needed. Since they are made with effectiveness in mind from the beginning, there is little need to think about unevenness or disadvantages in effectiveness. Also, since they are originally designed to be applied, there is no need to worry about their appearance.

Even so, there are a lot of different places for their use. There are places where stickers and labels are not suitable, such as on uneven surfaces or in bad environments, but, as I mentioned in my previous column, ("Small Materials but Big Roles for the Environment – Part 2"), recent stickers and labels are packed with a lot of technology in a small structure so that they can be applied in a variety of environments, such as cold, wet, and uneven places.

However, the main role of stickers and labels is to display information. In order to provide antibacterial and antiviral performance, if the surface of the printed information is wiped, sprayed, or coated afterwards, the important information may disappear, which would be render their use meaningless.

So, we thought of laminating a thin antibacterial/antiviral treated transparent film on top of the stickers. By doing so, we can achieve our main objective of adding antibacterial and antiviral properties while also communicating the necessary display information. The product "AN16055V " is a very thin 0.016mm film, so it can be simply applied over stickers and labels suitable for the environment in which they are to be applied. In addition, the film conforms to the antiviral performance evaluation test "ISO 21702" and the antimicrobial performance evaluation test "JIS Z 2801 (ISO 22196)," and has been confirmed to reduce specific viruses and inhibit the growth of specific bacteria. Although there are many films with antibacterial and antiviral properties, this film can be printed on*1., i.e., the necessary information can be added just before the final use, which means that the film has a high flexibility for changes and alterations after the sticker or seal is created. We also have the advantage of being able to provide materials that can be flexibly adapted to the environment and situation.

Also, for people with visual impairments, physical contact has become a major part of their information gathering, so the need for "touchable objects" is becoming more important than ever. I believe that by using these materials, we can provide safety and security.

As a person who is involved in this industry, I take pride in providing adhesive materials such as stickers and labels to help realize a society where people can live with a little more peace of mind. In the future, various measures will be taken for hygiene, and these measures will eventually become universal. We would like to continue to respond to various requests so that the wonderful functions of today's stickers and labels will be recognized as universal functions in the future.

  • *1 ^Printing on the surface of the antiviral layer may impair its antiviral and antibacterial properties. Please make sure to check printing results on a test print sample before use.

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