Trapped half a mile below the earth, 33 Chilean miners will have to wait for several weeks before they can be rescued.
But at least their feet don’t stink.
That is because among their provisions are special socks made by Richmond-based Cupron Inc.
Cupron produces fiber products that are blended with copper. The antimicrobial properties of the metal inhibit the growth of fungus and bacteria, which ordinarily thrive in the damp environment the miners are stuck in.
CFO John Cudzik said the company began supplying the Chilean mining company as well as the Chilean military with its odor-fighting socks just before the incident that left the miners trapped. Now the company’s signature product is being put to the ultimate test as the miners and their feet endure the harsh underground conditions.
“We haven’t heard any direct feedback yet,” Cudzik said.
Read an earlier BizSense story about the company here.
Cupron’s technology was featured in a Chilean newscast, as well as on Israeli television. The initial research for Cupron was conducted in Israel, and there is a sales office located there. Cudzik said the socks are standard issue for the Israeli Defense Forces.
Cupron was incorporated in 2002 but was recapitalized this year with an unspecified investment by Virginia Life Sciences Investments. Cupron is based at the Virginia Bio Tech Research Park. The company has manufacturers in North Carolina and abroad; it also licenses its technology to other companies to use in their products.
To learn, more visit their website here.