These chemicals are commonly found in disinfectant wipes, sprays and other household cleaners designed to kill germs.
“Quaternary ammonium compounds were the most sensible solution for large area shipboard use, because they can effectively deactivate the virus by destroying its protein membrane,” Wynne said. “There are other chemicals that can be used to deactivate the virus, but they would be more corrosively aggressive to a ship’s delicate ecosystem.
“It’s always important to follow the manufacturer’s product guidelines. From my experience, these kind of disinfectants should reside on the surface about 10 minutes to be considered sanitized.”
The manner of application was also considered important for such large area decontamination. The researchers recommended the product be applied as a fine mist directly to compatible surfaces to ensure surfaces were adequately wetted while also not disturbing contamination that may be residing on the surface. The NRL team’s deep expertise of coating formulation, testing, and demonstration made the rapid response possible.
“Our extensive fundamental knowledge of chemical processes and the naval shipboard corrosion prevention risks and reduction led to the speedy recommendation,” said Ted Lemieux, a chemical engineer and head of the Center for Corrosion Science and Engineering.