Conference Proceeding

Novel metallic glass composites with optimum antimicrobial and wear performance

Dr. Sergio G Sanchez,
Northumbria University, UK

Dr. Gonzalez joined Northumbria University as a lecturer in Mechanical Engineering after working at the university of Manchester as research associate. Prior to that, he held research positions at the Autonomous University of Barcelona, UAB (2011-2013) and at the prestigious group of Prof. Inoue at Tohoku University in Japan (2008-2010). He received a BEng in Mechanical Engineering at the Pontifical Comillas University of Madrid and a BEng in Materials Engineering at the Polytechnic University of Madrid. Afterwards, he got his PhD in Materials Physics at Complutense University of Madrid (2004-2008). His PhD research work was carried out at the National Centre for Metallurgical Research (CENIM) in Madrid, Spain. During his academic career he has received various fellowships (FPI Fellowship awarded by the Spanish Ministry of Education and Science to pursue his PhD and Juan de la Cierva Fellowship awarded by the Spanish Ministry of Science and Innovation) and has been awarded a Royal Society Research Grant.

In the European Union 8 to 12 % of the inhabitants risk of nosocomial infections. Hospital touch surfaces such as bed rails and handles can be a reservoir of pathogens that cause infections resulting not only in substantial economic losses but even in patient death. Antimicrobial copper is the most effective touch surface material against pathogenic microbes since it can kill more than 99.9 % bacteria within 2 hours of exposure. However, copper is a relative soft material that exhibits low wear resistance compared to other materials. An easy technique to improve the durability of the material is to mix copper with other elements and cool fast enough to form metallic glass composites, although it might be at the expense of losing part of the antimicrobial ability. The aim of this work is to study the antimicrobial and wear performance of alloys corresponding to the CuZrAl system with increasing content of Cu (50, 53 and 56 at. %). The scratch resistance of the samples was observed to increase with increasing addition of Cu due to the formation of small intermetallic phasesembedded in an amorphous matrix. Antimicrobial tests with E. coli or B. subtilis cellsfor the x=50 specimen did not display any antimicrobial properties when compared with plastic controlafter 4 hours contact. For the x=53 sample, E. coli and B. subtilis numbers were reduced by ca. 50% and 70% respectively. The x=56 sample reduced cell numbers by >99% for both species when compared to the plastic control.

Published: 27 April 2017