Tag Archive for copper plating laboratory equipment

The Copper Plating Story

story-copper-plating-nitec-derbyshireWe all know plenty about Copper Plating, but what we often don’t know a great deal about is where the process originated from.  I bet you would be interested to learn that it was not at all intentional, but was, in fact, a complete mistake!

Where did Copper Plating come from?

This happy accident occurred centuries ago in 1724, when Thomas Bolsover, a Sheffield cutler, was mending the handle of a silver knife.  He was doing so with the assistance of a copper coin under the pressure vice but got a little distracted and the two metals both became heated.  Due to their heating, they fused together, the silver completely hiding the copper.  This mistake led Bolsover to experiment with other methods of retaining silver and copper together in unity whilst also being one, workable material, and this worked.  This was Bolsovers happy accident, as this was the beginning of the Sheffield Plate.  Dying in 1788, Thomas Bolsover was regarded in his obituary as the first inventor of plated metal, though sadly not the most well known.

All About Copper Plating

Copper Plating is not only undertaken for functional purposes but for decorative purposes, too.  Often used for road mending techniques, medics and in telecommunications, it really is a multifunctional plating technique.  This is due to it being an excellent conductor, has a good ability to shield against electro magnetic interference and radio frequency interference, along with it having excellent levelling properties.  Copper plating is highly thought of in the medical world due to the fact that it naturally kills bacteria, thus making it a great protection against infections and diseases, so often also used in laboratory settings, too.

Contact Us Today at NiTEC UK

If you or your business are interested in plating, be it copper plating, electroless nickel plating or heat treatment which may require specialist assistance, then why not get in touch with us, here at NiTEC UK?  We are a Derbyshire based company and are leading specialists in the plating industry, offering a wide range of well-developed, tried and tested techniques which are high-end and also cost effective.  We have experience of working for many different industries, including the aerospace, medical, army and automotive industries, to name but a few.  We offer our services to the whole of the UK, Germany, France, Brazil and Holland.  Call us today on 0845 224 3571 or alternatively you can email us at info@nitec-enp.co.uk

 

Prevent and Eliminate Microbial Growth with Copper Plating

copper plating service chesterfieldIn our last blog post we discussed the antimicrobial action of copper and its power to inhibit the growth of micro organisms.

But the process of copper plating isn’t just limited to laboratory equipment such as the incubator that we copper plated on behalf of New Brunswick. Copper is also used in a variety of everyday products to effectively prevent and eliminate microbial growth, including the following:

  • Copper -sulfate and -chelate aquacades control aquatic pests in ponds and municipal water supplies.
  • Copper based pesticides are widely used to control fungi, algae and nematodes.
  • Brass (copper/zinc alloy) used in machining coolant filters removes bacteria and algae.
  • Copper can be incorporated into cement or paint. This can be particularly useful when used in basements which tend to be very humid and sometimes damp, as it prevents the growth of bacteria and fungus.
  • It is used in cooling systems and towers to reduce bacteria and algae.
  • Plumbing pipes that contain copper have been proven to reduce the threat from the bacteria Legionella pneumophila. The Centre for Applied Microbiology and Research carried out a study showing that copper piping reduces the growth of these particular bacteria, which is the causative agent of Legionaire’s Disease.

Pure Copper Touch Surfaces in Incubators

Copper is a recognised approach for preventing microbial growth in the incubator. Copper has recently enjoyed a popular resurgence within the clinical sciences, and in 2018 the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency certified that pure copper “kills 99.9 percent of bacteria within two hours.” Copper has also been proven to be effective against bacterial spores.

The cell culture research community now strongly back the use of incubators featuring copper interior chambers in recognition of copper’s effective antimicrobial activity. Copper is often used in C02 incubators because it is understood that the higher the temperature and relative humidity, the better the effectiveness of coppers antimicrobial action.

If you are looking for a reliable copper plating service for laboratory equipment such as the interior chambers of incubators, NiTEC can help. Call us on 0845 224 3571 to speak to a member of our team or email us at info@nitec-enp.co.uk

Copper Plating a Laboratory Incubator to Prevent Cell Culture Contamination

copper plated incubator

Here at NiTEC, we love sharing our recent plating projects with our blog readers. This copper plating job has a particularly interesting story behind it!

We were asked by New Brunswick, producers of laboratory products, to copper plate the interior of this incubator in order to prevent bacteria escaping and cell culture contamination.

Incubators such as this provide the perfect environment for cell cultures to grow. However, these warm, humid conditions can also encourage and sustain the growth of microorganisms that can cause contamination. This is where copper can help.

Antimicrobial Action of Copper

Copper has the power to inhibit the growth of many different micro organisms. It can, in fact, slow or stop the growth of bacteria, fungi, algae and yeast. Copper ions are able to bond to contaminants and disrupt the key proteins and processes that are critical to microbial life.

The Centre for Applied Microbiology and Research (CAMR) has recently carried out a study that explored the suppression of bacterial colonization by solid copper, proving that copper piping reduces the growth of Legionella pneumophila, causative agent of Legionaire’s Disease.

The Use of Copper in Incubators

Copper reduces microbes in a wide range of laboratory equipment, including medical and scientific devices such as incubators. Testing, studies and experience have shown that copper wire, copper sulphate or even a simple penny added to a water reservoir of carbon dioxide incubators can significantly inhibit microbial growth. And copper surfaces clearly reduce the number of contaminants present too.

The incubators produced by New Brunswick, therefore, are manufactured using copper interiors, as copper has been proven to have antimicrobial properties. If you would like to find out more about the process of copper plating, its antimicrobial properties and NiTEC’s expertise in projects such as this, call us on 0845 224 3571 or email info@nitec-enp.co.uk

Copper Plated Medical Clipboards Kill Bacteria on Contact

As specialists in metal finishing and copper plating, NiTEC endeavour to keep up to date with recent developments in the industry and adapt our services accordingly. Our most recent service is the process of copper plating medical clipboards for use in hospitals.

Copper plating is often used in hospitals and laboratories due to its natural ability to kill bacteria on contact.

NiTEC’s commercial director Marcus Hill believes that copper plating clinician’s clipboards can help to provide an effective defense against the spread of infections such as MRSA in hospitals.

Hospital-acquired infections are not only very common, but they cost the NHS huge amounts of money every year. Research carried out by the University of Southampton has proven that metallic copper surfaces kill microbes in a matter of minutes by causing membrane damage to the bacteria.

Copper has been proven to prevent the horizontal gene transfer in bacteria, which is to blame for antibiotic resistance, in turn increasing the number of health care associated infections. Horizontal gene transfer often takes place in hospitals on surface that are frequently touched. Copper plating therefore contributes to the prevention of infection spread and gene transfer.

Copper plated clip boards are a logical step forward in the quest to reduce the spread of bacteria and provide extra protection alongside the standard hygiene practices in the hospital environment,” said Marcus.

To find out more about the copper plating service offered by NiTEC, please visit the Products and Services page on our website, call 0845 224 3571 or email info@nitec-enp.co.uk