Polymer Bulletin, Vol.77, No.1, 17-31, 2020
Montmorillonite-triclosan hybrid as effective antibacterial additive with enhanced thermal stability for protection of plastic electrical components
The majority of parts used in the electrical apparatus are made of polymer materials; however, pure polymers do not provide the antibacterial functionality. Therefore, in order to add such property to them it is necessary to use antibacterial additives. The study concerned intercalation of triclosan (TCS) as biocide into montmorillonite (MMT) interlayer spaces was performed in order to increase TCS resistance to high-temperature treatment, which is necessary during polymer composite processing. The obtained MMT + TCS hybrids were tested for structural and antibacterial properties. The degree of biocide intercalation was assessed using X-ray diffractometry, by analyzing changes in MMT interlayer distance, and thermal analysis was performed to assess the effect of the intercalation process on the thermal stability of TCS. Antibacterial tests against Gram-negative bacteria (Escherichia coli) and Gram-positive bacteria (Staphylococcus aureus) were also carried out on the obtained MMT + TCS powders in order to confirm the bactericidal properties of TCS released from the clay after the intercalation process. As a final proof of concept, the hybrid powder, namely MMT with incorporated TCS, was incorporated into polycarbonate matrix and antibacterial activity of modified polymer samples was tested. The obtained results have proven that montmorillonite-triclosan hybrid is an effective antibacterial additive with enhanced thermal stability which can be applied for protection of plastic parts used in electrical devices.