Sometimes it is the smallest things that can make our day: shortening the meeting by 10 minutes, having that extra cookie, looking at the crescent moon before falling asleep. And then there are other, even smaller things that matter just as much, even if they are not physically visible: kind words, encouraging thoughts or… bacteria.
Bacteria are among the smallest living things on the planet. These microorganisms only have a single cell but they can get a lot of things done and go very far just as they are.
Rocks, all types of soil, the far reaches of the Antarctic and the corners of your living room – bacteria live everywhere. Some live on top other organisms and some live inside them. As a matter of fact, you have ten times as many bacteria cells as human cells living in your body as you read this. Most of these bacteria can be found in your digestive system where they help you to digest food. Humans have also used bacteria for thousands of years to ferment foods and make them taste nice and tangy. In other words, not all bacteria are bad. But not all of them are out there to support our well-being, either.
From hand wipes to catering utensils, health equipment and silent pods – antibacterial materials are here to offer us protection from those bacteria that are counter-productive to our health and well-being.
Antibacterial materials work on two fronts. First of all, they help to protect the surfaces against the direct damage caused by microbes. For example, when bacteria start multiplying on laminate surfaces you need to develop a strict and regular cleaning routine to try to keep the microbial growth under control. (Usually, a full job in itself. Imagine cleaning your office phone booth twice an hour!) Incorporating antibacterial laminates into your designs means that mould and mildew won’t be able to start attacking the surface, so your tools or furniture will have a noticeably longer lifespan.
Secondly, antibacterial materials help to guarantee that there are fewer stains and odors around us, meaning that we can have cleaner and fresher environments to live and work in. Since many microbes are known to at least double in number in every 20 minutes, antibacterial laminates noticeably tweak the hygiene levels of your home or office surfaces. And this can now include the surface of your office meeting booth as well.
In environments where lots of people come together on a daily basis, an antibacterial surface helps to inhibit microbial growth and also its transference to other organisms or surfaces. Some materials are naturally antibacterial. (Brasses, for example, limit the growth of microbes on them.) But not all naturally antibacterial materials render themselves easily for many other functions. They can be too expensive. Or too heavy. And that is where laminates enter the scene.
Antimicrobial laminates are polymer-matrix composites which are made up of layers of materials that have been designed to resist microbial growth. All Silen’s white coloured office pod and phone booth exterior surfaces are designed and built with these types of antibacterial laminates. And since desks are the dirtiest areas in most offices, we are using antibacterial desk top materials in all the white pods and booths as well.
The antibacterial laminates in our products are suitable for high use products in both horizontal and vertical structures. We use Innovus laminates both for our phone booths and office pods since they meet the most stringent requirements for hygiene, fire, humidity resistance and mechanical properties. This laminate is a treated material that is classified as non-hazardous and is also environmentally neutral. Exactly the way we like it.
The antibacterial materials used in Silen’s pods are effective against a broad range of bacteria. This means that everyone with a white Silen meeting pod or an office phone booth can be sure that the life cycle of the bacteria on those surfaces will be short-lived and that those nasty single cell organisms can not reproduce at their desired rate.
We believe that all of us deserve to work in an environment that supports our physical and mental well-being. This does not mean only medical institutions and food services but everyone who is collaborating with others on a daily basis. Considering that up to 80% of infections can be transmitted through touch and that workers in open plan offices tend to take a lot more sick days, it is worth considering adding antibacterial surfaces to the most widely used areas in your office, like meeting spaces. There is a lot an office booth or a meeting pod can do!