Cu – Ni Concentration Gradient Alloy for Antimicrobial Efficacy Testing

Additonal authors: Asselin, E.. Book title: Proceedings of the 58th Conference of Metallurgists Hosting Copper 2019. Chapter: . Chapter title:

Proceedings, Vol. Proceedings of the 58th Conference of Metallurgists Hosting Copper 2019, 2019

Khorami, H. A.

A copper–nickel concentration gradient alloy was designed and fabricated through a powder metallurgy (PM) process. Copper and nickel powders were mixed with different weight ratios from 0 to 100% copper in 10% increments. Each powder mixture was poured inside a cylindrical die and compacted between two punches using a hydraulic press machine at pressures up to 70 MPa, resulting in approximately 1 mm thick layers (discs) of pressed Cu–Ni powder. These 11 Cu–Ni compacted powder layers, i.e. 0–100% Cu with 10% increments, were then compressed together with pressures up to 420 MPa to form a green part. The green part was sintered in a vacuum furnace at 1000°C for 10 hours to form a solid mass (PM part) of Cu–Ni concentration gradient alloy. In the sintering process, Cu and Ni particles fused together and formed a single piece due to diffusion of the atoms across the boundaries of the particles. The diffusion of atoms also converted the stepwise concentration change into a uniform concentration gradient. INTRODUCTION Copper has numerous applications in different industrial sectors due to its superior physical, electrical, mechanical and chemical properties such as its excellent thermal and electrical conductivity, resistance to fatigue, high ductility, and resistance to corrosion. Moreover, copper and its alloys have natural antimicrobial properties. This has opened up new applications for copper–based self–disinfecting surfaces in healthcare in an effort to mitigate healthcare–associated infections (HAIs). HAIs affect millions of patients each year, leading to significant morbidity and mortality as well as financial losses to healthcare systems (World Health Organization, 2016). HAIs spread through three main routes: (a) iatrogenic in which HAIs are a direct consequence of medical encounters and/or treatment; (b) person to person where organisms are transferred between healthcare workers, patients, and visitors; and (c) environmental where transmission occurs via contaminated surfaces and equipment (e.g. doorknobs, railings, toilets/commodes, medical carts). The use of antimicrobial copper–based materials on high touch surfaces could diminish pathogen transmission via this latter rout. This has subsequently led to the development of a variety of copper–based materials for use in healthcare settings and promoted the investigation of the antimicrobial efficacy of copper–based materials.
Keywords: Copper 2019, COM2019