Stainless steel is a ubiquitous material that you can find in kitchens in homes and restaurants all around the world. The metal is easy to sanitize so it tends to be used in food preparation areas where things like raw meat and fish are placed on bare surfaces. Raw meats tend to carry a lot of bacteria and that bacteria can be easily transferred if the surface isn’t cleaned and possibly lead to illness.
Materials scientists at the University of Birmingham have developed a new method of infusing stainless steel with silver particles to make it antibacterial. The material is also hard making it resistant to repeated cleanings and scratches. The new material may also find its way into the hospital setting as well. The process for making the material uses a technology called Active Screen Plasma.
The ASP technology allows the even dispersal of silver into a stainless steel surface along with nitrogen and carbon to make the metal harder and more durable while introducing antibacterial processes. The researchers say that medical instruments treated with the method are still intact and the surface was resistant to wear after being cleaned 120 times.