frequently asked questions

what is the spectrum of antimicrobial activity of the SILVADUR™ technology?

The historical use of silver as an antimicrobial agent is well documented and has been shown to have a very broad spectrum of activity. Silver ions are extremely effective at controlling the growth of both Gram + and Gram – bacteria. With the controlled release of silver ions found only in the SILVADUR™ antimicrobial polymer system, all bacteria and fungi are extremely susceptible to this technology.

What is the antimicrobial efficacy of SILVADUR™ for properly treated textiles?

Independent, third party microbiological laboratories have confirmed that samples properly treated with the SILVADUR™ antimicrobial technology will easily demonstrate greater than 90% bacterial reduction after 50 home launderings.

How is antibacterial activity and wash durability determined?

Dow recommends using the ASTM E3160-18 and the ASTM E3162-18 test standards for measuring the durable antimicrobial activity of treated textiles. Dow requires that these tests are performed by laboratories certified by the International Antimicrobial Council (IAC) to be trained and proficient at performing these standard methods to industry criteria. Laboratories must provide valid IAC Verification Numbers with each test report that indicate the laboratory and technicians have performed the methods appropriately. ASTM E3160-18 is based off other standard tests such as the AATCC100, ISO20743 and the JIS L1902 and follows the OECD Task Force on Biocides guidelines for measuring the antimicrobial activity of treated articles. Treated samples must demonstrate >99% bacterial reduction following these guidelines.

Does the antimicrobial test method recommended by Dow only work for Dow’s product?

No, the antimicrobial test method recommended by Dow comes at the recommendation of the International Antimicrobial Council. This method reflects the latest standard specifically designed to measure the antimicrobial activity of ALL antimicrobial treated articles. This recommended method follows the guidelines of the OECD Task Force on Biocides and is intended to more closely reflect conditions that might be experienced by ANY antimicrobial treated textile in use.


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Why is the IAC Verification Number significant?

The unique IAC Verification number on the antimicrobial test report indicates that the test laboratory that performed the microbiological testing has been trained and is proficient at running the latest antimicrobial test standards. This verification number ensures that your test has been reviewed directly by the IAC and conforms to the testing guidelines within the industry.

How are these laboratories trained?

IAC Certified laboratories are specifically trained on the details of performing standard industry antimicrobial methods. The exact proficiency of each laboratory is updated and tested on a yearly basis with on-site technical training and blind sample evaluations. Improvements and updates on the latest changes in antimicrobial testing are provided to each IAC Certified laboratory, which ensures that you are getting the proper testing performed on your treated article.

What interference or compatibility issues are there with other textile additives?

No interference with other typical textile auxiliaries has been seen with the SILVADUR™ non-ionic polymer system.

What antimicrobial tests are appropriate for this technology?

The ASTM E3160-18 test is the most reliable and effective test method that can be used to measure antimicrobial effectiveness of all current antimicrobial agents on the market.. Other methods that have been used to measure the antimicrobial effectiveness include but are not limited to: AATCC100, JIS L1902, ISO20743, and ASTM E2149. These test methods must be run at IAC Certified test laboratories and must contain an IAC Verified test report to be valid.

What antimicrobial tests are NOT appropriate for this technology and why?

Unlike particle based silver technologies that release both ionic silver AND silver laced particles into the surrounding area, SILVADUR only releases silver ions at the surface of treated fabric. This means that NO “Zone of Inhibition” (ZOI) will be seen with SILVADUR™ treated samples. Since no ZOI is created, test methods that determine the performance of an antimicrobial based on the size of the ZOI are not appropriate for the SILVADUR™ technology. These methods include AATCC147, ISO20743 (Qualitative Method), and other agar based protocols.

How many launderings can SILVADUR™ treated textiles withstand?

Dow recommends following the latest test practices developed to measure the durability of antimicrobial treated textiles. Using the ASTM E3162-18 test standard, the SILVADUR™ antimicrobial technology has been shown to be effective over the “life of the goods.” Laboratory testing demonstrated excellent antimicrobial activity after 50 launderings, which exceeds most expectations for the “life” of textile products.

What equipment or other requirements does my company need in order to use SILVADUR™?

The application instructions for SILVADUR™ technology are very clear for both exhaustion and pad applications. Simply follow these application instructions with the recommended addition levels (based on the weight of the goods) and you should have no problem meeting microbiological performance parameters.

Can I measure the presence of the SILVADUR™ on my treated fabrics both at the mill and at retail?

Yes, Dow scientists have developed a method that will allow both the mill and the brand owner to detect the presence of the SILVADUR™ technology directly on the treated goods.

Will SILVADUR™ alter the “hand” or “moisture management” properties of the fabric?

No, SILVADUR does not alter the "hand" or moisture management properties of the fabric. Because SILVADUR treatment is invisible with respect to touch and sight, DuPont has developed methods that allow mills and brand owners to detect the presence of SILVADUR technology on treated goods.

Will I need binders and/or excessive heat curing if I want to extend durability on my fabrics when using SILVADUR™?

No. The SILVADUR™ antimicrobial system is an all-in-one polymer. The polymer system interacts with itself and with the textile surface to provide its own polymer network on the surface. This polymer system binds the silver directly and only releases the silver ions when needed. This unique polymer system requires NO extra binders and NO excessive heat curing to apply.

Will SILVADUR™ cause color problems like other silver particle antimicrobial agents?

Silver particle antimicrobial agents act by providing a large supply of silver doses inside a particle structure. The SILVADUR™ polymer system is NOT released from the surface and due to its “smart polymer system” will only release silver ions AT THE SURFACE OF THE TEXTILE. This means that no silver laden particles are released into the environment. Due to the very low level of silver ions released, discoloration of the treated surface is NOT a factor.

Do I need to License the SILVADUR™ name and if so, how much extra cost is associated?

Yes, using the SILVADUR™ name, brand, or hang tags requires a License. Dow provides a royalty-free License for Licensees that utilizes the SILVADUR™ Quality Assurance Program. For more information contact us.

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