GENT, Belgium (Dec. 18) — Milliken Chemical Europe has opened a laboratory at its Gent technical center dedicated to the firm´s Alphasan silver inorganic antimicrobial technology, which can be integrated into rubber, plastics and/or textiles.
The Milliken Europe Microbiology Laboratory will provide in-house material and finished part testing facilities to customers active in the plastics, rubber and textile sectors, from compounders and masterbatch producers to original equipment manufacturers, Milliken said.
Traditionally, European testing activities have been outsourced, with internal support available only to customers using the microbiology laboratory at Milliken´s headquarters in Spartanburg, S.C.
Milliken introduced Alphasan — a silver-sodium-zirconium-phosphate ion-exchange resin — to the rubber industry in 2003 and said the opening of a European laboratory reflects "continued growth and market acceptance" of the material. Compounding rubber with the material prevents growth of bacteria, fungi and yeasts on rubber parts, Milliken said.
"This new resource forms part of our strategy to expand our service in Europe, reinforcing Milliken´s commitment to prioritizing the needs of customers by providing quicker and more efficient technical support," said Elke de Clerck, technical services manager at the new lab. "We are looking forward to the opportunities this closer co-operation will bring, in particular with regard to exploring new application areas."
The new facility offers standard microbiology equipment such as inoculation and colony counting facilities, sterilization autoclaves, safety cabinets, incubators and microscopy services.
The company did not say what it invested to set up the lab.