No Chance for Bacteria and Molds
"Germs" transmitted by the indoor air are increasingly often being seen as triggers for allergic reactions and infectious diseases in humans and animals ("sick building syndrome"). A warm, humid environment such as that produced in ventilation and air conditioning systems due to fresh air interchange favors bacterial growth.With rising temperature, the concentration of microorganisms increases and mold spores develop a higher vitality. The fact that the Federal German Government has declared war on these pathogens with the Infection Protection Amendment Act, passed by the Federal German Parliament on June 9, 2011, and the hygiene improvement measures following from it, shows the importance of the problem.
Against this background, quality standards for mechanical ventilation of indoor areas with ventilation and air conditioning systems are being reexamined. Attention is focusing particularly on the air filters used in these systems, which are risk factors for the accumulation of microorganisms and therefore for the contamination of indoor air. To ensure that hygienic standards are maintained in ventilation and air conditioning systems, regular inspections are necessary. These include checking that the air filter is seated leak-free on the seals, which should ideally be provided with antimicrobial protection.
Sonderhoff Chemicals GmbH, based in Cologne, Germany, uses special formulation additives to prevent harmful microorganisms colonizing the seals of ventilation and air conditioning systems. The Institute for Air Hygiene (Institut für Lufthygiene) in Berlin, Germany, has just recently approved selected sealing foam systems produced by the company as being suitable for use in ventilation and air conditioning systems. The polyurethane foam sealing materials K31-A-9020-17F and K31-A-9308-5-VP5-F and the casting product Fermadur-A-196-4F successfully passed tests for resistance to molds and bacteria as per DIN EN ISO 846 (Determination of the effect of microorganisms on plastics) and also met the requirements for microbial inertness specified in VDI 6022.
These sealing systems can also be processed with consistent accuracy into complex three-dimensional components with inclined faces. Because of their short tack-free time, the systems are quickly ready for further processing and installation. They have very good assembly adhesion on painted or powder-coated metal surfaces.
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