Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Impressive Aegis Antimicrobial Shield

I've recently seen (and smelled) the impressive Aegis Antimicrobial Shield that is being widely applied to socks and shoes.  The Merrell Moabs that Nathan Jr and I got before the Grand Canyon has Aegis applied, as do the hiking socks we bought at the outdoors & sporting goods store.  By itself, Aegis has no smell, and is odorless.  The literature says it is "permanent" and works "indefinitely" to kill bacteria that comes in contact with it.  As a practical engineer, I am often skeptical of product marketing statements that say "always", "never", "permanent" and "indefinitely", but Nathan Jr enthusiastically attests that his formerly rank smelling feet and shoes were "deodorized" by repeatedly wearing socks that had Aegis Antimicrobial Shield applied to them that he got last Christmas from us.  Having previously been repulsed by the stench of my son's Charlestonian (wet, humid, often beach flavored) footwear and feet when he lived with us in High School and would come to visit during college, I was justifiable impressed.  I bought some socks with it applied as well today, and hope to abolish foot odor in my home in 2012.

Looking at the Aegis website, it explains some basic chemistry to claim how benign Aegis is to the wearer, in contrast to how effectively deadly it is to the bacteria who cannot tolerate it.  Covalent bonds, positively charged nitrogen, and long "spiked" molecular chains are what do the trick (link here).  We'll see how many washings it really does last.  3-trimethoxy silyl propyl dimethyl octadecyl ammonium chloride ... hmmmm.  We'll see.

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