Anti-microbial grab poles

Aims

We are currently working with the Health and Safety Executive and other partners, to develop grab poles for public transport that have embedded anti-microbial properties.

The primary aims are to protect transport users from harmful bacteria and potentially certain types of virus, while at the same time supporting de-carbonisation by vastly reducing the weight.

We will also demonstrate our ability to manufacture grab poles at high volume and low cost.

The challenge

There are significant issues with grab poles which we are aiming to overcome with this project. Firstly they are heavy, so increase vehicle emissions, and secondly, people often regard them as unhygienic.

Coatings such as anti-microbial paint can be applied to traditional metal grab poles, but this increases their weight further and only provides short-term hygiene benefits, since the anti-microbial effect rapidly wears off with frequent use.

Our solution will:

  • integrate the anti-microbial properties into the material of the pole
  • ensure the anti-microbial properties don’t deteriorate over time
  • reduce the weight of the part so that emissions are kept to a minimum.

This project is ongoing so look out for future developments.

The challenge

There are significant issues with grab poles which we are aiming to overcome with this project. Firstly they are heavy, so increase vehicle emissions, and secondly, people often regard them as unhygienic.

Coatings such as anti-microbial paint can be applied to traditional metal grab poles, but this increases their weight further and only provides short-term hygiene benefits, since the anti-microbial effect rapidly wears off with frequent use.

Our solution will:

  • integrate the anti-microbial properties into the material of the pole
  • ensure the anti-microbial properties don’t deteriorate over time
  • reduce the weight of the part so that emissions are kept to a minimum.

This project is ongoing so look out for future developments.

"Anti-microbial particles will be incorporated into the composite rails during the moulding process. As a permanent part of the structure, they should be less susceptible to wear"
Steve Barbour
MD at Composite Braiding

Potential

The focus of this project is grab poles but the technology has enormous potential to reduce transmission of bacterial infections — and potentially, some viruses — if adopted for other high-touch items. For example, items in trains, planes, buses, ships, hospitals, shops, public toilets, cafés and bars.

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Award-winning

Our technology has been recognised as world-leading. Working with a consortium of other manufacturing companies, we won two global innovation awards for the design of a very light rail carriage:

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