Description: The Naval Research Laboratory has developed a series of biocides that, when formulated with the proper resin systems, produce coatings and polymers that kill a variety of bacteria, molds and viruses on contact. The biocide component is similar to those found in many products on the market. The advantages of the NRL biocide stems from the novel design of the molecule, with one end being hydrophobic and the other hydrophilic. This structure causes the biocide to preferentially migrate to the surface, where it is most effective, while the resin or coating is still liquid. The structure also greatly reduces removal by leaching once dried or cured.

Advantages/Features Include:

  • Broadly applicable: Effective against both Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacteria
  • Highly effective against common bacteria: E.g., Log 7 kill in 7 colony-forming units of E. coli and Staphylococus Aureus ("Staph").
  • Demonstrated effective against viruses
  • Economical: Migration to surface prior to hardening allows for use of low loading
  • Stable up to 200°C in air; Can be tailored to eliminate leaching

Applications Include:

  • Additives for paints and coatings that kill germs, e.g. in hospitals and doctors' offices
  • Fiber sizings for fabrics used in camping and other outdoor gear, including tents and clothing
  • Polymer additive for molded plastics, such as food packaging, computer keyboards, etc.
  • Reduce mold and mildew on polymers used in humid environments, e.g. in kitchens and bathrooms, on boats, on building exteriors (vinyl siding and windows, paints and coatings, etc.).
  • Coatings on fuel lines and tanks to reduce contamination by microbes that cause fuel spoilage and fuel filter blockage


  • "Development of Antimicrobial Peptides (AMPs) for Self-Decontaminating Surfaces," ACS Applied Materials and Interfaces. (2010)
  • "Synthesis, mobility study and antimicrobial evaluation of novel self-spreading ionic silicone oligomers," Journal of Applied Polymer Science, 104 (2007) 2954.

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