HKU scientists develop anti-Covid stainless steel

Scientists at the University of Hong Kong said on Thursday that they have developed a new kind of stainless steel that can kill pathogens on its surface, including Covid-19.

The research team said stainless steel is one of the most extensively used materials in public areas, but coronavirus can stay on its surface for up to three days, leading to cross-infection among people using these facilities.

The scientists said they had successfully altered the chemical composition and microstructure of regular stainless steel to change its properties.

They found that stainless steel with a high copper content can rapidly inactivate pathogens, including Covid-19, the H1N1 virus and E. coli.

Professor Huang Mingxin, who led the research, said a patent has been filed for the discovery, adding that the research team is liaising with industrial partners to make prototypes of stainless steel products such as lift buttons, doorknobs, and handrails for further tests and trials.