Illinois, US-based ICP Industrial and HeiQ of Switzerland have signed a deal under which the former will incorporate the latter’s Covid-19 destroying technology into water-based and UV-curing products for use in lamination or over-coating of all kinds of print applications produced using all major print technologies, including digital.

Intended to be added last to any printed surface and thus forming the surface that users would touch, the coatings should exhibit the same resistance to SARS-CoV-2 and other viruses as HeiQ Viroblock has been tested to do on textiles used in facemasks. Combining two modes of attack, Viroblock is said to achieve more than 99.99% destruction of various viruses and bacteria ‘in minutes’ according to ISO 18184 and ISO 20743 standards. It has already been adapted for use in paints, so the extension to print brings another large category of frequently-handled materials within its application range.

Coatings are in development for a wide range of printed substrates, from paper and board to vinyl and other synthetic materials and with print processes including offset, flexo and gravure as well as digital. For flexible packaging applications, ICP is working with film manufacturers to incorporate the coating on the surface of the material. Viroblock NPJ03 is made with cosmetic-grade materials and US EPA and equivalent European approvals are being sought for the substance’s anti-viral claims.

ICP Industrial’s division president Paul Grzebielucha said, ‘We are excited to offer this new innovative technology to the print world. We have global reach under our brands of Nicoat, MinusNine and Hitech Coatings to provide this protection on billions of printed surfaces per year. This HeiQ Viroblock game-changing technology for our industry and society has proven to be a superior solution that is currently available in the marketplace.’

HeiQ co-founder and CEO Carlo Centonze added, ‘It is with great pleasure that we team up with ICP Industrial, a global leader serving the print and packaging industry with advanced coating systems. As we have all learned in this global pandemic, surfaces matter and viruses can remain infectious for several days on paper, plastics and cardboard.’