Chilean company Materiales Avanzados has developed Vetro +, a antimicrobial coating for flat glass that helps reduce the risk of viruses such as Covid-19.
Vetro + will be studied by scientists in the United Kingdom to verify its effectiveness against Covid-19. Chile’s Iquique airport will use the product on facades throughout the premises.
Christian Aguilar founded the company Materiales Avanzados in 2018 and developed the technology behind VETRO +.
"Vetro + is a coating with antimicrobial activity that fuses to glass," explains Mr Aguilar.
"At first we thought of it as a kitchen coating, but over time we realised that it can be applied to any vertical or horizontal surface."
To maintain the translucency of the glass, Mr Aguilar decided to work with nanoparticles and created a method to insert them into the glass, which is in the process of being patented in Chile and abroad.
"We use the common glass found in the windows of any house and we add an antimicrobial film or paint that fuses with the glass above 600 degrees Celsius", he explains.
Luis Duarte, Director of Materials Technology Avanzados explained that ‘the nanoparticle fuses to the structure of the glass and, therefore, even if you scrape the glass with sharp elements, it maintains its properties and integrity over time’.
Mr Aguilar communicated with the commercial and science teams of the British Embassy in Santiago, who developed a project to support the certification of Chilean innovations against Covid-19 in the United Kingdom and facilitate the arrival of these companies to the country.
This certification process, carried out by a team of researchers from an English university, is one of the few proven methodologies in the world to evaluate the effectiveness of products, such as Vetro +, in deactivating Covid-19.
Louise de Sousa, British Ambassador to Chile, said: “As an embassy, we have worked hard to support initiatives that allow us to connect British expertise with Chilean talent.
“Our commercial and science and innovation team came together to generate a call that allowed Chilean companies, such as Vetro +, could evaluate the effectiveness of their products against Covid-19 in the United Kingdom, contributing to the diversification of the economy and an even more secure future in the face of the pandemic.”