Ecology Coatings, Inc. has developed a UV-curable coating to meet the rigorous requirements of the healthcare industry. The coating is applied to a multilayered paper, printable patient wristband and is benzophenone-free—a request that is becoming a requirement within the food industry and is increasing in popularity within the healthcare sector.
“A major U.S. label manufacturer, searching for improved product performance, asked that we develop a UV-curable coating for patient identification wristbands used by their customers within the healthcare industry,” said Ecology Coatings CEO Bob Crockett. “Sally Ramsey, our vice president of research and development, worked with the manufacturer to understand the use, durability and longevity of the wristbands in a hospital. Based on the data gathered, Ms. Ramsey and her staff developed a coating that would be clear, glossy and resistant to water, blood, urine, betadine, alcohol, xylene, acetone, antimicrobial skin cleansers, chlorhexidine and a number of other common chemicals that could come in contact with patient wristbands.”
The company performed extensive laboratory trials before providing the coating to the label manufacturer for customer testing. According to Ms. Ramsey, the results were positive and the project is moving to the next level. AHA statistics from 2009 indicate there are approximately 5,800 registered hospitals in the U.S. with 944,000 staffed beds and 37 million annual patient admissions—all requiring patient identification wristbands.
“We are working closely with label manufacturers and believe the healthcare industry could be another excellent market for our coatings, from final overcoat on printable, multilayered paper wristbands to prescription labels,” said Mr. Crockett.
In other new product news, Ecology Coatings has developed biobased GRAS (generally recognized as safe) UV-curable materials for coatings. Because these components are GRAS, they can be used to make coatings that are safe for human consumption and can be placed in direct contact with food and food packaging. Ecology has filed a PCT patent application for its GRAS coating materials, which has been accepted by the patent office with the distinction as novel and inventive. This action will allow Ecology to file for an accelerated treatment for United States patents that will most likely be issued in 2012 said the company.