Antimicrobial Technology in Vehicle Interiors - Addmaster

The Road to Automotive Hygiene: Exploring The Use of Antimicrobial Technology in Vehicle Interiors

Paul Willocks
Marketing Manager (Addmaster)
The Road to Automotive Hygiene: Exploring The Use of Antimicrobial Technology in Vehicle Interiors

In the hustle and bustle of our daily lives, our vehicles are often used heavily for commutes to and from jobs and personal travel. However, these enclosed spaces can inadvertently become a breeding ground for germs. Microbial growth, including bacteria and viruses, can thrive on high-touchpoint surfaces within the confined space of a car. A bacteria study conducted by Aston University revealed that our car interiors are dirtier than the average toilet![1] Recognising this, the automotive industry is beginning to embrace the integration of cutting-edge antimicrobial technology into vehicle interiors, ushering in a new era of hygiene.

Understanding the microbial landscape within the interior of a vehicle is extremely important. The steering wheel, door handles, seats, and seatbelts are constant points of contact and therefore a hotbed for microbial activity. Studies have revealed the presence of common bacteria including Staphylococcus aureus and Escherichia coli on these high-touchpoint surfaces.[2]

Antimicrobial technology can be seamlessly integrated into all material types found within a vehicle including fabrics, plastics, metals, and paint. Antimicrobial technologies work by disrupting the microbial cell structure, preventing their growth and proliferation. This antimicrobial technology is designed to inhibit the growth of microbes providing an added layer of product protection, ultimately providing a clean and hygienic driving environment.

The Benefits of Antimicrobial Automotive Interiors

The benefits of antimicrobial technology in automotive interiors extend well beyond hygiene and address multiple aspects that enhance the overall driving experience. Antimicrobial additives combat unpleasant odours that can become apparent within a vehicle's interior over time. Microorganisms are the prime contributor to musty smells and can deteriorate air quality over time. Antimicrobial additives inhibit these odour-causing agents, resulting in a fresher and more pleasant driving experience.

Moreover, antimicrobial technologies can extend the lifespan of automotive interior materials. Microbes and fungi are known to accelerate the degradation of materials including leather, fabric, and plastics. By incorporating antimicrobial additives, manufacturers create a protective barrier, inhibiting the growth of these damaging agents and thereby extending the longevity of interior components. This not only adds value to the vehicle but also aligns with sustainability goals by reducing the need for increased part replacement.

Industry Adoption and Trends

This shift towards embracing antimicrobial technology within the automotive industry is not a passing trend but a fundamental transformation in response to heightened consumer expectations. As awareness around hygiene continues to gain momentum, manufacturers are recognising the need to integrate antimicrobial features as a standard across new vehicle models.

Investments in research and development have become a strategic imperative for automakers, aiming not just to meet but to exceed evolving consumer demands. The integration of antimicrobial technology is a testament to this commitment, as manufacturers strive to stay ahead of the curve in offering innovative solutions that enhance the overall driving experience for consumers.

In the competitive landscape of the automotive market, the inclusion of antimicrobial technology is emerging as a differentiating factor, setting apart brands that prioritise the occupant’s experience. It is no longer perceived as a niche offering but as a standard feature that consumers are increasingly expecting in their vehicles.

The growing prevalence of antimicrobial technology in automotive interiors reflects a broader societal trend where hygiene is becoming paramount in consumer preferences. As manufacturers recognise the preferences of their consumer base, the integration of antimicrobial technologies is a proactive approach to anticipating future demands, whilst also a defining element in the design and marketing of new vehicle models.

Consumer Awareness and Perception

As mentioned, consumer awareness of antimicrobial technologies is on the rise, and manufacturers are becoming more responsive to the preferences of an increasingly informed consumer base. However, the challenge lies in ensuring that consumers fully comprehend the benefits of antimicrobial technology meaning continued education is still pivotal as consumer perception plays a crucial role in driving the manufacturers adoption of these technologies.

Continued education is the linchpin that will ensure not only the acceptance but the enthusiastic embrace of antimicrobial technologies, making them a standard and sought-after feature in the eyes of the consumer. As consumer perceptions align with the proven benefits, the automotive industry is likely to witness an even more pronounced integration of antimicrobial technology in response to the discerning preferences of an increasingly hygiene-conscious consumer base.

The Future

Looking ahead, the future of antimicrobial technology in automotive interiors holds promise and we can anticipate even more advanced solutions, further solidifying antimicrobial technology as an integral part of modern vehicle design and manufacturing.

As technology advances and consumer awareness continues to grow, the automotive industry will be poised to deliver more hygienic driving experiences. The integration of antimicrobial technology is not just a trend but a fundamental shift towards prioritising consumer requirements and taking the technology from a ‘nice to have’ to an expectation.

Here at Addmaster we offer our market leading Biomaster antimicrobial technology. Biomaster is easily incorporated into all materials used within vehicle interiors at the point of manufacture or as a coating.

Biomaster is an additive that offers effective antimicrobial product protection for the effective lifetime of the product, helping to keep surfaces hygienic and inhibiting microbial growth.

You can find out more about Biomaster and its applications in the automotive sector HERE

 

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References

[1] Scrap Car Comparison and Aston University / Bacteria Study Reveals Our Car Interiors Are Dirtier Than The Average Toilet (Dr Jonathan Cox) - https://www.scrapcarcomparison.co.uk/blog/the-dirtiest-areas-of-cars

[2] National Library of Medicine / National Centre of Biotechnology Information / Elucidation of bacteria found in car interiors and strategies to reduce the presence of potential pathogens (Rachel E. Stephenson, Daniel Gutierrez, Cindy Peters, Mark Nichols, and Blaise R. Boles) - https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3962071

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