Shield is the antimicrobial process for ceramics which combats bacterial growth and guarantees permanent protection of surfaces, for cleaner, more hygienic living spaces. Its action is based on silver ions, which inhibit bacteria’s survival. In combination with regular cleaning, the Shield antimicrobial process guarantees the permanent, continual protection of Emilgroup products, as well as complete hygiene.
The silver ion technology integrated in the Shield antimicrobial process exploits the antimicrobial properties of silver to inhibit the growth of bacteria on ceramic surfaces. Even in small quantities, silver, with its antimicrobial properties recognised since ancient times, acts directly on bacteria’s metabolism, preventing them from converting nutrients into energy and thus inhibiting their survival, reproduction and colonisation.
The Shield silver ion technology is integrated in the Emilgroup industrial production process. The silver ion additives are applied as part of the final glaze, before firing in the kiln at 1200 °C; they remain active even after these high temperatures and become an integral part of the ceramic material.
The antimicrobial properties of ceramics manufactured with the Shield process are genuine structural characteristics, which guarantee constant, permanent protection in any environmental conditions, with no need for sunlight or UV radiation, throughout the ceramic product’s lifecycle. Moreover, the silver ion additives have no effect on the tile’s appearance, its colour, the bonding of its glaze, its resistance to solvents or any of its other properties. Therefore, it is not a surface coating, which wears away with the passage of time, may be washed off by detergents, or even modifies the product’s appearance, as in the case of other technologies on the market.
No, the Shield antimicrobial process complies with the same high production standards as all Emilgroup products: the antimicrobial silver compound has been customised to guarantee the ideal combination of technology and performance, with no changes to the production and firing procedure. In contrast, to provide the same antimicrobial properties as Shield, other technologies on the market require additional firing processes, with implications for production times/costs and product quality.
No, the silver ion technology on which the Shield process is based is structural, meaning that it is integrated in the production process, so it does not imply any changes to the firing process and it has absolutely no effect on the outstanding appearance and performances of Emilgroup products. This means we can continue to guarantee the exceptionally high design and technology levels for which Emilgroup products are famous worldwide, while boosting the porcelain stoneware’s hygienic and antimicrobial action. All Shield products are the outcome of the ceaseless work of our R&D department and of our Quality area, which verifies that every collection complies with the high quality and performance standards we guarantee our customers.
All Emilgroup ceramic products with natural surface can be manufactured with the Shield antimicrobial process to guarantee even greater protection against bacteria, for cleaner, more hygienic living spaces.
Ceramic products manufactured by the Shield process leave the factory with their antimicrobial action already enhanced. The protection guaranteed by the silver ion additives starts to work as soon as a microorganism comes into contact with the surface of the ceramic product, immediately impeding its proliferation and thus its survival. The innovative feature of Shield is that it inhibits bacterial growth even if the ceramic surface is contaminated with organic matter on which bacteria may feed. In fact, the antimicrobial power of silver prevents bacteria from transforming nutrients into energy, thus “deactivating” them.
The Shield process is designed to provide continual antimicrobial and anti-odour protection throughout the lifecycle of the ceramic product, keeping Emilgroup surfaces cleaner and better protected. Since the silver ion active agent is integrated during the industrial firing process, it cannot be removed by ordinary cleaning operations and does not wear away over time, guaranteeing permanent protection.
The silver ion technology integrated in the Shield process guarantees continual antimicrobial protection day and night, 24 hours a day. It does not require sunlight or UV light to activate it, unlike some technologies on the market. Shield maintains its high antimicrobial performances constant over time, in any environmental conditions.
The reduction of unpleasant smells caused by mould and fungi is a direct consequence of the ability of the silver ions used in the Shield process to inhibit the growth of bacteria, the main cause of bad odours.
Yes, they require the same routine cleaning as Emilgroup stoneware. The silver ion technology integrated in the Shield process is not a substitute for normal product cleaning procedures. Our silver ion additive completes and enhances routine cleaning by keeping ceramic products cleaner and better protected, thus preventing the growth of bacteria between cleanings.
Yes, the silver ion technology has a long history of safe use in applications on consumer, commercial and health care products worldwide. The additives used by the Shield process are incorporated in the ceramic material, and therefore the use of these products does not involve exposure for consumers, or direct transmission into the environment. What’s more, the technology is registered with the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and has been notified in accordance with the Regulation on Biocidal Products in Europe.
Tests performed on ceramic products manufactured by the Shield process recorded a 99.9% reduction in populations of Escherichia coli and Staphylococcus aureus, both of which cause food poisoning and other types of infections.
Bacteria and viruses, often confused, are actually very different in their characteristics. Bacteria are able to replicate on their own and can survive either inside or outside an organism. Viruses, on the other hand, are unable to replicate, so they have to keep infecting new hosts in order to survive and multiply.
Although porcelain stoneware is classified as a hygienic material because it is inorganic and inert, and therefore does not facilitate the proliferation of bacteria, mould and fungi and is easily cleaned with ordinary household detergents, bacteria may multiply and grow on ceramic surfaces in specific conditions (e.g. high humidity, presence of organic matter). The silver ion antimicrobial additive integrated in the Shield process inhibits bacterial growth and, combined with regular cleaning, improves the hygiene of surfaces and the level of protection provided to people.
Shield is an antimicrobial protection integrated within the Emilgroup ceramic product. This brings a series of advantages that only a structural solution, incorporated in the production process, can provide. Firstly it is durable: high, constant performances are guaranteed over time and in any environmental conditions, with no need for external factors for their activation. Secondly, it is resistant: being integrated in the product’s structure, it cannot be removed by washing. Thirdly, it maintains the high appearance and technical quality standards of all Emilgroup ceramic products, since it is produced by the company’s normal process, with no change to its fundamental stages, and finally, it is sustainable, with no hazards for the environment.
To obtain complete, permanent protection of ceramic surfaces, which deactivates bacteria and, in combination with regular cleaning, boosts the hygienic characteristics of Emilgroup porcelain stoneware. Shield is your key to combining protection, performance and genuine Italian design.