Businesses and organisations that want to enhance hygiene protection as the COVID-19 pandemic ends will, quite, rightly, want to invest in the most effective product.
To help make a rational and sensible comparison between the main high-frequency touchpoint protection products on the market, we have created a comparison matrix with eight key attributes.
Touchpoint Shield™ is a unique antimicrobial coating that provides proven protection against a range of bacteria and viruses, including SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19.
So, how does this antimicrobial coating compare with three other hygienic protection products – antimicrobial films, antimicrobial wraps (also referred to as covers), and products with built-in antimicrobial protection?
The eight key attributes we have identified to compare each product are:
- Unit cost
- Active life
- Ease of application
View our antimicrobial surface protection comparison matrix. The findings are also summarised below.
Antimicrobial film is, on paper, a low-cost solution, but costs are pushed up by wastage caused by difficulty in application and the need for regular replacement. Wraps are medium cost, due to the need for precision manufacture. Products, like handles with built-in antimicrobial properties, are highly expensive due to the need to replace current items.
Touchpoint Shield™ is a low-cost option as it can be quickly applied by a trained technician and consists of a very small amount of product in comparison with the size of the area given enhanced antimicrobial protection.
Films can be applied to different shaped surfaces, But even with expert application, there are problems with covering complex objects. Wraps can only be fitted to objects they are designed for. These are most commonly door handles, door push plates, toilet flush handles, emergency exit push bars, and handrails. Manufactured items also come in a limited range of products, mostly door handles, and designs.
Touchpoint Shield™ is the most flexible antimicrobial protection system. The liquid glass fluid can be applied to objects of any shape. Therefore, it can be applied to door handles, toilet seats, hand rails, light switches, equipment controls, desks, and chair armrests, as well as padlocks, gate latches, and vehicle controls. It can also be sprayed onto soft-furnishing materials such as seat covers.
How each antimicrobial product looks once it is applied is very important to many businesses and their property agents or facilities managers. Films can be quite easy to see, especially on more complex surfaces, like door handles. They can also peel off, looking unsightly.
Wraps stand out most, which is a disadvantage where the look of the building is important to its users. On the other hand, being more noticeable, they can serve to reassure people that additional protection is in place. However, some business owners prefer protection to be delivered in the background, with little attention being drawn to the extra measures being taken.
Manufactured products do not have these issues, but they only come in a limited range of designs that may not be compatible with the ‘look’ of a particular building.
Touchpoint Shield™ will not alter the aesthetics of the building. It is a near-invisible coating that actually enhances many surfaces by giving them a smoother, soft-shine finish. If customers want to notify building users that the coating is in place, we can provide stickers or posters to be placed close to each application point. As Touchpoint Shield™ physically protects surfaces, it can reduce the risk of scratching, enhancing the look of a space over time.
Film can adversely affect the feel of door handles. If it peels, this effect is made worse. Wraps also change the feel of handles and other products. Handles with built-in antimicrobial properties should look and feel like a standard door handle.
Items, such as door handles, coated with Touchpoint Shield™ retain the feel of the item before it was coated. As it is an ultra-thin coating, it does not alter the shape or texture of any surface.
Films have the lowest durability of any of the products compared. In areas where the flow of people is very high, they may have to be replaced frequently. Antimicrobial covers, or wraps, are more durable but may only last a few months before being replaced. Manufactured items should provide high levels of durability, as long as the product is of high enough quality.
Touchpoint Shield™ is made from very tough ceramic particles that have proven high levels of durability. The only way it can be removed is with a specialist gel. As such, we believe it to be the most durable appliable antimicrobial product on the market.
The flimsiness of films limits their active life, which can, in some cases, be measured in days. Door handle wraps, or covers, will last longer. However, some leading suppliers still recommend that they are replaced every three to six months. The active life of products manufactured with in-built antimicrobial properties should be measured in years.
Thanks to its durability, Touchpoint Shield™ will provide antimicrobial protection for up to three years. That is a conservative estimate. As such, yet again, it has the best performance of all applied antimicrobial products.
Ease of application
Films can be fiddly to apply. This difficulty contributes to some of the drawbacks noted with the seven other attributes. Antimicrobial covers are easy to apply, as long as they are compatible with items, such as door handles, in specific premises. Change door handles in a building is time consuming, costly and could cause a lot of disruption.
Touchpoint Shield™ can be applied to a standard office door handle in a matter of seconds – certainly less than a minute in most cases. As a very small amount of the product is needed to form the secure coating, care and attention by the trained technician is needed.