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Triple-A-COAT is applying practical knowhow in coatings design and development, especially with contributions of our partners SuSoS and SIRRIS, and the three nanocellulose companies Cellugy, Melodea and Sappi.
The project will investigate how to improve the adhesion of nanocellulose to four model surface materials: metal, plastic, glass and seat fabric. To enhance adhesion, various “linker” compounds will be tested.
SIRRIS will develop and optimise application of the nanocellulose coatings by spray coating. The nanopatterned cellulose developed by Imperial College will be applied as a film.
To evaluate the practical performance of the coatings, the Triple-A-COAT consortium has a wide range of tests available, for example durability, resistance to chemicals and washability.
Laboratory analysis of the coatings and advanced microscopy will also be used to understand how their chemical and physical properties relate to the performance.
Consulting with industry and people involved in managing public spaces is important to understand better the needs of users while designing the coatings. As well as the involvement of bus manufacturer Van Hool as a partner, the Triple-A-COAT project is forming a User Committee of representatives from relevant organisations around Europe. This group will be able to discuss the detailed practical requirements for the coatings with the project researchers.
Triple-A-COAT will use industry-standard tests of antimicrobial, antifungal and antiviral activity of the developed coatings at each stage of development. This will allow us to identify the best performing combinations of nanocellulose and antimicrobial/antiviral functionalities.
We will finally perform tests according to the standards used for commercial products, and select the three best coatings for the demonstration in a bus simulation booth.
As well as the microbiology groups participating from KU Leuven and Stellenbosch University, Triple-A-COAT involves specialist company Virology Research Services Ltd, that undertakes testing of antiviral products for industry. They are equipped to safely test antiviral activity against pathogenic viruses, including influenza and Sars-Cov-2.
While nanocellulose is considered a safe material, the project will still perform standard tests to check for any potential toxicity of the developed coatings to humans and animals, as well as skin irritation.