CORNING, N.Y. (WETM) – Corning Incorporated says they’ve developed a new glass-ceramic technology that shows paint and coatings containing their new product, Corning Guardiant, kills more than 99.9% of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, in two hours or less.

Dr. Joydeep Lahiri, Division VP & Program Director for Specialty Surface at Corning Inc. describes Guardiant as a “microscopic powder” that contains copper. Guardiant can be mixed into products such as paint to create a protective, antimicrobial coating.

“We think that the pandemic has really put a light on the need for these kinds of anti-microbial surfaces that can basically kill germs without any intervention,” says Dr. Lahiri.

According to Dr. Lahiri, Guardiant can “be added into any coating,” but their first application is expected to be used with paint.

Corning Inc. is working with PPG to mix Guardiant into their paints, and they expect approval from the Environmental Protection Agency some time next year.

“When you buy a can of paint it would have the Guardiant mixed in and then you apply it just like a regular paint.”

Corning worked with the University of Arizona to test Guardiant on surfaces infected with SARS-CoV-2, which causes COVID-19, and simulated six years of scrubbing on the surfaces where Guardiant was applied.

“Really, the challenging part was keeping this very bio-active form of copper, putting it in a glass, keeping it stable, making sure it was stable, trapped in a glass but making it available for release because that’s what you need to kill germs. So, it started with a small team, now it’s a pretty significant effort as we try to scale this up for PPG and other customers of Corning.”

Subject to EPA approval, PPG’s antiviral paint product will be available under the name Copper Armor.

“PPG is proud to partner with Corning to continue innovating and creating solutions that address our customers’ greatest needs,” said Michael H. McGarry, PPG chairman and chief executive officer. “We know that now more than ever, our customers are seeking multiple layers of protection as they navigate the COVID-19 pandemic. Following registration with the EPA, we look forward to launching a paint product in the coming months that contains Corning Guardiant, providing customers with an additional safeguard from the Coronavirus in areas that pose a higher health risk.”

“We strive to create innovations that make the world a better place,” said Wendell P. Weeks, chairman and chief executive officer, Corning Incorporated. “Our scientists have developed this unique paint additive using our highly engineered glass-ceramic technology. We are excited about the new lab results and look forward to working with our valued partner PPG.” 

Not only was Corning Guardiant able to kill the SARS-CoV-2, it also able to kill “other bacteria and viruses with greater than 99.9% efficacy in under two hours, including gram positive bacteria (such as Staphylococcus aureus), gram negative bacteria (such as Pseudomonas aeruginosa), and non-enveloped viruses (such as murine norovirus, which belongs to the hardest-to-kill class of viruses in terms of its susceptibility to disinfectants).”

Dr. Lahiri sees Guardiant as one of many tools in the public’s toolchest when it comes to defeating COVID-19 and preventing other diseases.

“We want to back to our normal lives, and Guardiant is one of those things that is part of an arsenal of things that we should try to implement.”

Corning Inc. is also responsible for making the glass vials that will one day transport the COVID-19 vaccine.