Bios Ceramics®: bioactive ceramics to boost hygiene and protect the environment
The invention of Bios Ceramics®, an exclusive range of bioactive, certified, environmentally friendly ceramics, represents a key step forward in Casalgrande Padana’s research and development activities around the study of innovations in ceramics used for architecture. The new range was created thanks to an agreement between the Casalgrande Padana Research Centre and TOTO (the market leader in the field of sanitary products and a pioneer of Hydrotect photocatalytic technology). Suitable for any kind of application both indoors and outside, the range combines anti-bacterialand self-cleaningcharacteristics with an ability to reduce pollutants in the atmosphere, depending on the intended use.
What are bioactive ceramics?
They’re an innovative type of environmentally friendly product which autonomously interacts with the environment to spark a series of chemical and biological reactions capable of bringing down bacteria levels, pollutants and traces of dirt or impurities on the slabs. These ceramics are able to contribute to improving the quality of the micro-environment in which they are situated, whether that be inside or outside. Indeed, they are the fruit of a long, exciting period of research.
What’s the science behind bioactive ceramics?
Bioactive ceramics are the result of a series of scientific discoveries made since the start of the 1960s. The most important of all was made by the University of Tokyo in the field of photocatalytic reactions. The so-called “Fujishima-Honda” reaction – named after its discoverers – occurs when a TiO2 rutile crystal and a fragment of platinum are immersed in water and then exposed to light. The reaction sparks the oxidation of the TiO2 rutile, thus letting off oxygen and hydrogen, gasses which have been shown to react with and destroy almost all organic compounds. And all thanks to water and sunlight.
Tiles that kill bacteria and clean themselves
In the mid-1990s, the Japanese company TOTO developed a patent in its laboratories that combined the cleaning properties sparked by the “Fujishima-Honda” reaction with super-hydrophilic properties, thus creating a special coating that can be applied to any surface to enable it to independently clean itself of impurities thanks only to sunlight and natural rainwater, to purify the air of pollutants and to kill the main bacterial strains. It was a first glimpse at the potential uses for self-cleaning, anti-bacterial ceramics in the world of architecture.
Bios Antibacterial® HYDROTECT and Bios Self-Cleaning® are born
After years of experimentation and research, Casalgrande Padana decided to create the Bios Ceramics® brand, which includes two types of products: self-cleaning bioactive ceramics (Bios Self-Cleaning®) and anti-bacterial ceramics (Bios Antibacterial® HYDROTECT).
As you can imagine, there are a vast array of possible applications and many structures and architectural projects, all over the world, for which porcelain stoneware tiles equipped with Bios Self-Cleaning® technology can be used for façade cladding.
The anti-bacterial properties of Bios Antibacterial® HYDROTECT make these tiles the ideal choice for flooring in settings where hygiene is of primary importance, such as clinics, hospitals, supermarkets and sswimming pools.
Let’s check out some existing projects together...
Bios Ceramics® for Emergency: bioactive ceramics in the hospital sector
Faced with such complex projects to develop and manage, where architecture must become the functional expression of a space created specifically to serve, Tamassociati took special care of the most suitable materials and construction techniques. All internal flooring and tiling were done in products from Casalgrande Padana’s Technic collection (Nebraska colour, 30x30cm format, anti-slip surface in the corridors and rooms, polished finish in the operating rooms), with Bios Antibacterial® HYDROTECT technology. These products delivered in terms of strength and versatility, while also giving the option to apply the Bios Ceramics® solution, ideal for settings in which optimal levels of hygiene and cleanliness must be maintained.
Khartoum, Sudan: Salam Cardiology Centre
Bangui, Central African Republic: Emergency Paediatric Centre
Ph. Raul Pantaleo
Nyala South Darfur: Emergency Paediatric Centre
Freetown Sierra Leone Goderich: Surgical and Paediatric Centre
Ph. Massimo Grimaldi
Stefano Ferrari Centre of Regenerative Medicine
The Stefano Ferrari Centre of Regenerative Medicine is a beacon of excellence in the international field of research into epithelial stem cells and their clinical uses in stem cell and gene therapy. Casalgrande Padana supplied the porcelain stoneware tiles – with Bios Antibacterial® HYDROTECT technology – used for the inside flooring and tiling on the ground floor and in the service areas.
inCoop Conselice: the supermarket that respects the environment
The environmentally sustainable supermarket in Conselice (Ferrara) is a pilot scheme designed to trial a new breed of Coop Adriatica supermarkets based on a “life cycle” approach that takes into account the environmental impacts of every phase in the life cycle of the building. The ethos views the location and eco-system as resources and buildings as open, constructed organisms, considering social, energy and environmental factors when analysing the total costs of interventions.
Given the heightened attention on the quality and environmental impact of the materials, the decision was taken to use Unicolore porcelain stoneware tiles with Bios Antibacterial® HYDROTECT technology, enabling the supermarket to bring about a dramatic reduction in the use of detergent and disinfectant for cleaning, thus cutting pollution.
Multiplexe Aquatique du Saint Gilles Croix de Vie
The building is particularly attractive on account of the large windows of different heights, some reaching 11 metres, and a roof that evoke the undulating movement of the water. The inside of the swimming pool features tiles from the Landscape collection in the Tundra and Ocean colours, complete with non-slip finish and Bios Antibacterial® HYDROTECT technology, which kills 99.9% of the four main bacterial strains (Staphylococcus aureus, Enterococcus faecalis, Escherichia coli, Pseudomonas aeruginosa) in the surrounding area, as well as eliminating bad odours and maintaining the non-slip characteristics of the tiles, even in the absence of natural light. Sebum and skin can build up at the edge of swimming pools, combining with germs to create stains and slimy deposits which impact the aesthetics of the tiles as well as affecting the non-slip characteristics of the surfaces and making walking more hazardous.
We're in the Mitte district (meaning “centre” in German) – the beating heart of Berlin. Sapphire is a multi-storey building characterised by a particularly complex shape which is entirely covered with a ventilated façade clad with FractileBios Self-Cleaning®ceramic tiles featuring a three-dimensional pattern.
These prestigious examples show that Bios Ceramics® can be used in a huge range of architectural projects, spanning sectors such as healthcare, civil engineering and industry.
Bios Self Cleaning