ASX-listed PPK Group has announced a joint venture with textile technology startup Xefco which will manufacture facemasks with antibacterial and antiviral properties.
The new business, Survivon, will make use of Xefco’s vapour deposition process for 99.95 per cent pure, ultra-thin copper coatings. PPK said that this had been shown in tests by the Peter Doherty Institute to inactivate the Sars-Cov-2 virus in as little as five minutes.
The process had been developed by Xefco in collaboration with Deakin University’s Institute for Frontier Materials, and Survivon planned to also licence this IP to companies internationally.
PPK said the new venture was in line with its focus on both technology commercialisation and nanomaterials.
“PPK is most often associated with BNNT amongst other breakthrough technologies,” said Robin Levison, PPK Group’s Executive Chairman, adding that boron nitride nanotubes and associated spinoffs the Li-S Energy battery project and White Graphene were the clear focus.
“But PPK is always on the look-out for new opportunities to back breakthrough technologies, particularly in the nanotechnology space and with the involvement of leading universities like Deakin that are ready to be brought to market on an international scale.”
Survivon will also make use of PPK’s acquisition of Mask Innovation in August for $1.6 million. This includes a TGA approved Gold Coast factory producing N95/R2 and moulded three-ply surgical masks. Capacity is roughly 5 million masks a month.
In May, Deakin IFM’s project lead, Associate Professor Alessandra Sutti, described the coating technology as the result of a Covid-19-inspired pivot by her team to virus and bacteria-resistant textiles and surfaces.
“…the world’s first thin-film antiviral copper treatment for textiles, is a major achievement for our industry partners HeiQ and Xefco and demonstrates the value of close, all-in, Industry-Academia collaboration,” she said at the time.
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