Cold Spray Technology for Fast SARS-CoV-2 Disinfection on Public Surfaces: A Major Disruption in the COVID‑19 Transmission Chain
Canada Public Health has identified three main mechanisms for transmission of COVID‑19 disease, one of which is touching surfaces contaminated by SARS-CoV-2 virus. Recently, the Center for Disease Control (CDC) showed that when SARS-CoV-2 virus is applied to copper surfaces, it decays at a rate one order of magnitude faster than when in contact with stainless steel, and an extra two fold faster than when in contact with plastic. Most shared public surfaces are made of metals (e.g., steel, aluminum) and plastics (e.g., PVC, composites, rubber). Handrails, seats, doorknobs, and door handles are examples of common shared surfaces in public transportation, parks, and malls that are touched by hand. If the disinfection rate of the surface is increased, the chance of transmission of active viruses is reduced considerably. As the nation moves to reopen during the current pandemic, the very real possibility of a compound effect between a resurgence of COVID‑19 and seasonal influenza could be devastating and needs to be addressed immediately. While alternative antiviral materials may be considered to replace public surfaces in the long term, a near-term solution for existing common shared surfaces is of paramount importance. In this research we will develop the technology for onsite coating of existing public surfaces with antiviral copper alloy powder through cold spray coating; a technology that can be delivered immediately and broadly.