According to FlyerAlarm, the water-based varnish has been tested by Germany’s Fraunhofer Institute and kills all known bacteria, viruses, multi-resistant germs and fungal spores when used on paper and board. Its antimicrobial properties remain effective for 12 months.
The varnish, from an unnamed manufacturing partner, is based on an antimicrobial agent discovered by a research team at the University of Regensburg, Germany.
It uses special, non-toxic photocatalytic dyes which are activated by visible light and oxygen and, when tested to ISO 22196, kills 99.5% of germs.
FlyerAlarm UK country director Divyesh Chotai said: “Naturally there is heightened awareness of these kinds of issues in the current climate, but these advances follow naturally from the wide-ranging antimicrobial research activity that has long been underway around the world.”
The coating is neutral in colour and, according to Chotai is suitable for a wide range of products including food packaging, hygiene products and any form of commercial print that might be repeatedly handled, such as those used in the hospitality, airlines and rail industries and public institutions.
It is part of the company’s Back to Business initiative, and can be specified on a wide range of FlyerAlarm products including business cards, flyers, leaflets and labels printed on silk and matt paper stocks.
“The passing of print from hand to hand is a well-known means by which bacteria is transported, and reducing germ transmission has always been important. We are pleased to now offer this scientifically-proven solution for customers looking to source self-sterilised printed matter,” said Chotai.
He added that the varnish is an optional value-added finish, which, comes at a “small premium” with precise pricing dependent on the product it’s applied to.
In terms of how the business had been impacted by the lockdown’s across Europe he said that the €385m turnover firm's eight German production sites had remained operating through the crisis, with limited shifts and safety measures in place.
One of its sites has also been converted to focus on the production of PPE, protective screens and floor graphics and, according to Chotai, the business has launched more than 20 new Covid-19 essential products in recent weeks.
While he said that UK sales had been heavily impacted during the early stages of the lockdown, with sales at the lowest point being down by 80%, volumes have started to show the first signs of recovery. He added that delivery timescales to the UK, via logistics partner UPS, remained unaffected by the lockdown.