Antimicrobrial Porous Ceramics | Refractron

Refractron’s Effective Ceramic Solution Against Microbial Threats

Apr 5, 2024



As a trailblazer in ceramics technology, Refractron continues to push the boundaries of innovation with contemporary breakthroughs.

Renowned for their cutting-edge MgPSZ Izory® HD, Refractron now ads another “feather to its cap” with the introduction of antimicrobial porous ceramics. In addition to their established repertoire featuring porous Alumina (Al2O3) and porous Silicon Carbide (SiC), the inclusion of antimicrobial properties opens up new avenues for applications in industries demanding resilience against harsh conditions and biological contaminants.

Technically” How It’s Done


The journey to create ceramics with antimicrobial properties was navigated by Refractron’s R&D team. The process began with a thorough exploration of literature and extensive lab experimentation.

Using a sodium silicate glass as the bonding agent, the team devised a method to infuse the ceramic matrix with silver (Ag) and copper (Cu) ions. Initial trials focused on immersing glass in a water solution containing AgNO3, followed by controlled heating. Subsequent analysis revealed a concentration of 3-4 wt% Ag2O, demonstrating successful silver ion exchange.

Although the same methodology was attempted for copper, it proved ineffective. An alternative approach, however, involving pre-firing the alumina and bond mix with copper oxide (CuO) yielded comparable results. While copper doping has transitioned to commercial production, silver exchange remains in the small batch R&D phase, highlighting Refractron’s commitment to meticulous refinement and optimization.

Applications: What do Water Treatment Plants and Craft Breweries Have in Common?


 The short answer – our antimicrobrial porous ceramics help both facilities abate harmful onsite microbrial growth.

The integration of copper-infused ceramics holds immense promise across various sectors where microbial growth poses a challenge. In water treatment facilities, the menace of algae proliferation often leads to compromised efficiency and increased operational expenses. Similarly, hydroponics and aquaculture operations grapple with issues of membrane clogging due to algae growth, necessitating frequent replacements. Craft brewery productions face similar hurdles with organic growth affecting equipment sanitation and maintenance schedules.

By incorporating copper-doped ceramics into these processes, Refractron envisages a significant reduction in downtime and associated costs, offering a compelling solution to combat microbial threats effectively.

Diverse Requirements Demand Diverse Solutions


Refractron’s expertise in porous ceramic manufacturing encompasses a wide array of forming technologies, catering to diverse requirements. From tubes and discs to plates and rods, Refractron’s products boast mean pore sizes ranging from 0.1 micron to 100+ microns. The in-house machine shop further enhances flexibility, allowing for the fabrication of bespoke shapes with precision.

With offerings such as 85-91% glass-bonded alumina (Al2O3), sintered 99% alumina for elevated temperature stability, and reaction-bonded silicon carbide (SiC) prized for its high-temperature creep resistance, Refractron stands at the forefront of porous materials innovation.

For Additional Reading:

Refractron was profiled in a case study published in the Journal of the American Ceramic Society. Our production of glass-bonded ceramic materials for novel antimicrobial products was highlighted. Read the article here.



Refractron’s relentless pursuit of excellence continues to redefine the landscape of ceramics technology, empowering industries with solutions that seamlessly blend durability, functionality, and innovation.

For those seeking resilient porous ceramics tailored to their specific applications, Refractron extends an invitation for a complimentary engineering assessment. Contact Refractron today to explore the possibilities and embark on a journey towards enhanced performance and reliability.

Contributing Author: Tyler Roberts

Tyler Roberts is a Chemical Engineer at Refractron Technologies. Contact Tyler at  (315) 879-0811 or for a free assessment to see if we can help you with parts that will extend maintenance cycles, improve product quality and process reliability and reduce your operational costs.