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Solucore Inc. | A Professional Elevator and Escalator Consulting Firm
Solucore Inc. | A Professional Elevator and Escalator Consulting Firm

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Elevators, HVAC and Cleaning are the three most essential elements in retaining commercial tenants in high rise buildings. While we can argue about the levels of acceptable performance and client expectations, we cannot argue that having a reliable elevator service, good heating and cooling system as well as clean environment are essential. Covid-19 and this plague of 2020 impacted all three elements the hardest. Three most essential components and all three were impacted by the virus.

What surprised us was how all three components played out in elevator cabins creating a free for all to capitalize on the fear or concerns of the public to sell components that may or may not add any significant value. If the goal is to promote public health, then cleaning the elevator cab interior or components is welcomed. Installing components that may or may not generate any benefits is not necessarily in the public interest. In fact, it may lull the public to think that they are safe, hence dropping their guard when there is a need for doing the right thing.

In this blog, we are going to focus on the copper infused stainless steel.

This pandemic raised people’s awareness of viruses like never before and even inadvertently educated the masses on the difference between a viral infection and microbial infection. We all know by now that copper is a good solution for killing bacteria and other microbial organism. But is copper effective in killing viruses? The challenge with this question is how do you get the COVID-19 virus to the labs to test the efficacy of copper in a pandemic? Well that’s not going to be easy. However, we do know that other viruses have been studied and that copper does cause harm to them. Given that COVID-19 is a fairly weak and volatile virus, it is not a difficult to make the leap that if copper can kill the MERS virus it can kill the COVID-19 virus. Bill Keevil did test the effectiveness of copper in killing MERS, Coronavirus 229E (a relative of COVID-19), and the Swine Flu (H1N1) and in every case, the virus blew apart.

While copper’s antiviral properties are not as well published and promoted, its antimicrobial properties are impressive. So why havent we adopted copper in elevator cab interiors? After all, with COVID-19, isnt there a benefit to installing copper?

In my humble opinion, aesthetics play a major roll to selecting material. Architects and designers want to select materials and finishes that are appealing and attractive. Stainless steel is a staple in elevator interior design and aesthetics. Nowadays, you rarely see elevators without stainless steel in the base in the design. You see them in the front of the cab, doors, ceiling and reveals. In my opinion, stainless steel is a go to metal for elevators because of amazing qualities like:
1. Easy to clean;
2. Easy to polish;
3. Easy to maintain;
4. High durability;
5. Great strength;
6. Ease of use and installation;
7. Ease of build;
8. Tarnish resistant; and
9. The flexibility with respect to texture and finishes

It is undisputable that stainless steel cab interiors can be applies in numerous finishes and colours. Have you heard of black stainless steel? How about blued stainless steel? You can have it in mirror finish, or the rougher #4 finish. You can even have a rough grainy or mesh finish too. We even have fingerprint resistant stainless steel.

copper button

Back in the day when brass was the king of luxury finishes, black or textured stainless steel have uncrowned brass because of their durability and ease of maintenance. All that to say is that stainless steel will remain the undisputed champion of elevator finishes for years and years to come.

So how do we get copper in an elevator cab without compromising on the finish of stainless steel? Well one option would be to focus on the high touch areas (handrails, handrail band, doors and buttons) and infuse them with copper. One solution is to use the AEREUS Technology CuVerro copper shield (learn more about it here). This allows you to maintain the finish of stainless steel but have the protection of copper. Another would be to use copper buttons. Since only the buttons can be tarnished, it is a reasonable compromise. Remember to maintain the surface of the elevator equipment as cleaning regularly is the best solution to keeping people safe inside the elevators.

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Copper infused stainless steel. How do we get copper in an elevator cab without compromising on the finish of stainless steel.
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